Reader ‘s opinion The financial losses of peat entrepreneurs must be compensated

In connection with the decommissioning of energy peat, the conditions for responsible business, such as animal care, must not be taken away.

‚ÄúPeat incineration must be controlled in a controlled manner. ” This is how Helsingin Sanomat headlines their editorials (20.4.). As Finland’s largest player in the peat sector, Vapo fully agrees.

The editorial said that last year, the use of energy peat fell by 25 percent. In 2019, it fell by 20 per cent and this year the rate of decline has continued at the same level. The government’s goal was to halve the use of energy peat by 2030, but it is now clear that the halving will take place as early as next year. The situation has changed significantly since the government set a halving target two years ago, particularly due to the multiplication of the price of allowances.

The editorial referred at a general level to peat extraction polluting bogs and water bodies. Since 2014, peat production areas have only been opened on already drained bogs. Despite a persistent misconception about the negative effects of peat production on water bodies, long-term scientific studies in recent years (including the Geological Survey of Finland) have found that peat production has no adverse effects on water, compared to more than one million hectares of ditched forests in our country.

The editorial referred to the fact that energy peat is a major source of CO2 emissions. Due to the already reduced use, the share of energy peat was only three percent of Finland’s energy last year. This share will fall to close to zero in a few years, and emissions from energy peat will decrease accordingly.

As good an idea as it is to replace peat with straw as bedding, it is not possible because straw is simply not available to replace a million cubes of dry peat.

In Vapo’s opinion, the controlled decommissioning of energy peat includes taking into account the financial distress of peat entrepreneurs and the fact that in connection with the decommissioning of energy peat, the conditions for responsible business, such as animal care, are not taken away. The supply of raw materials for the horticultural sector in Finland and elsewhere in Europe must be taken care of. The security of supply of Finnish energy must also be borne in mind. In this debate, too, it is worth looking at the big picture, without forgetting the facts, especially in the independent media.

Vesa Tempakka

CEO, Vapo oy

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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