Climate | Policy Brief
The biochar system in the EU : the pieces are falling into place, but key policy questions remain
04 March 2021
BY: Stefano Verde, CHIARAMONTI David
The biochar system presents itself as an exceptional negative emissions technology in that it can readily provide multiple public goods at relatively low cost, notably restoration of soil carbon and water conservation in addition to climate mitigation, as well as multiple private goods related to the use of biochar as a soil amendment and other possible uses. To realise this potential at scale, however, a holistic and coherent cross-sectoral policy approach is needed. So far, the lack of an enabling and supportive policy framework at the EU level and, consequently, low demand for biochar as a soil amendment, has been the main barrier to widespread diffusion of the biochar system. Such framework is now under construction, but its final configuration is still undefined. Financial reward of greenhouse gas removals from the atmosphere, as well as of soil carbon restoration, would likely propel the diffusion of the biochar system. While evidence on non-economic barriers to the uptake of the biochar system is scant, public acceptance is not of concern. Notably, the co-benefits of properly regulated biochar for soil amendment suggest that this product may well appeal to farmers, who however need to be trained. Which policy instruments should be used to reward greenhouse gas removals produced by the biochar system and other negative emissions technologies, is a question that should be addressed soon. Setting specific targets for emission reductions and removals, rather than aggregate targets for net emissions, would help address this question as well as avert the risk of delaying either emission reductions or removals. Given the urgency of tackling climate change, opportunities for cost-effective greenhouse gas removals, such as those already offered by the biochar system, should be exploited without delay.
logo cadmus Read it on Cadmus Download in open access

LATEST FSR PUBLICATIONS

Other
Green LNG is a newly emerging trend in the natural gas industry which has been incentivised by the decarbonisation process. This new line of thinking encourages LNG suppliers to offset [...]
Other
Methane pyrolysis is an endothermic process, in which methane at very high temperatures decomposes into gases, liquids, and solids. It is a well-established process that is now being optimised to [...]
Book
This e-book shares 12 fresh perspectives from the frontline of the energy transition in Europe. Based on the interviews recorded between 2019 and 2021 for the FSR Podcast Series, Net [...]
Other
The EU Commission started developing in 2020 a “Taxonomy for sustainable activities” as an instrument to help directing investments towards sustainable projects and activities. As the initiative gains importance, it’s [...]
Article
The present article describes the main insights deriving from the papers collected in this special issue which jointly provide a ‘room with a view’ on some of the most relevant [...]
Working Paper
Long-term transmission rights promotes competition, fosters investment of new entrants facilitating, in this way, the efficient renewable deployment across the EU member states, and helps the efficient use of interconnectors. [...]

Join our community

To meet, discuss and learn in the channel that suits you best.

scroll

top