New CSO Figures Show Peat Exports Continuing at over 35,000 Tons a Month

Figures released on Thursday by the Central Statistics Office for August and September show that exports of peat for 2021 are now over 500,000 tons with 70,725 tons added in August and September alone.

‘The industry’s claim that exports are a matter of the past is not borne out by the newly released figures’ said Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE], who have been publishing the export figures in their online library.

New CSO Figures Show Peat Exports Continuing at over 35,000 Tons a Month‘The Value of Peat Exports in 2021 now exceeds 2020 by more than €18 million for a total January to September of €94 million’.

The Report of the Dr Munoo Prasad Chairman of the Review of the use of Peat Moss in the Horticultural Industry has yet to be published but the non-Government environmental organizations including FIE withdrew their support for the final Report, citing the failure of the Working Group to address alternatives in any meaningful way and instead demanding changes in the Irish law to allow them to continue harvesting.

Dr. Prasad recently told the media that six boatloads of peat of 4,000 tons each had been imported so far this year and two boatloads a month will be needed to meet the 2022 requirements.

FIE had the legislation seeking to give industrial peat extraction a ‘holiday’ by temporarily exempting the activity from certain planning controls struck down by the High Court in 2019. The environmental charity wrote to the Minister last month asking the Government to explore the implications of a licensing program for peat exports.

‘The industry has yet to explain how since January 2020 it has exported 1,419,624 tons of peat worth €170 million while claiming they are required to import peat to keep their industry viable.’

FIE attempted to seek an answer from the Chairman of the Working Group but was told by Dr. Prasad that ‘The export of peat from Ireland does not fall in the remit of my Working Group.’

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