#23: Bonn and Biochar

June 4, 2009
by phil
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We start our coverage of the United Nations climate talks in Bonn with a look at some of the targets that rich nations are bringing to the table. We also flag up the dangers of the scientifically unfounded rush to include Biochar and large-scale no-till agriculture in the draft negotiating texts in an interview with Almuth Ernsting from Biofuel Watch.

The bad news is that we have fewer actual answers than we need to make a watertight case for biochar, especially in a climate context … we need to advocate for policies that allow for the emergence of a biochar industry … before we have answers to the many research questions. – Steve Brick – Executive Director, International Biochar Intiative.

There are still fundamental uncertainties associated with biochar as a mitigation option … Our mitigation scenarios are strictly illustrative in nature … [and] assume waste-derived biochar provides only a very small fraction of the land-use related CO2 drawdown, with reforestation and curtailed deforestation providing a magnitude more. – Pushker Kharecha & James Hansen.


Civil society declaration: ‘Biochar’, a new big threat to people, land, and ecosystems
Biochar included in draft Copenhagen text
James Hansen: We never said biochar was a miracle cure (Guardian, 25 March)
Agriculture and climate change: Real problems, false solutions
Biofuel Watch
George Monbiot on Biochar 1
George Monbiot on Biochar 2


Copenhagen draft negotiating texts, webcasts, etc
AoSIS Views on Shared Vision (Dec 2008)

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