Earlier this week, the Energy Future Coalition hosted a meeting on the role terrestrial carbon management can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC estimates that soils alone can absorb 1.5-2 billion tons of CO2 annually. Globally, reforestation, avoided deforestation and enhancing soil carbon can sequester up to 25% of global emissions.
Investing in terrestrial carbon is a cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creates a host of ecological co-benefits: decreasing erosion, improving water quality, and increasing drought resistance, among others. Biochar–a charcoal-like soil amendment–is carbon negative, can improve agriculture yields especially on degraded lands, and can be co-produced with bioenergy.
Terrestrial carbon has been undervalued as a mitigation solution and experts at our meeting addressed the following topics:
- The magnitude of the opportunity and policy changes needed to scale up terrestrial sequestration
- How science can support policy
- Regenerative farming techniques and examples
- The role of agriculture and forestry in a reduced-carbon economy
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