The government has set a goal for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture to be reduced by 40 percent within 2030. In order to achieve this, far more effective measures are needed than what has been proposed so far. To bind carbon through the production of biochar is an initiative with great potential. It also has other, equally interesting benefits to that of the potential greenhouse effect.
In the interdisciplinary project Capture plus, led by SINTEF and financed by the Norwegian Research Council, we are studying the opportunities for implementing sustainable biochar systems in Norway. A national survey has revealed that Norwegian farmers have limited knowledge about the effects and benefits of the production and use of biochar. Eight out of ten farmers have little or no knowledge of biochar as a climate mitigation measure or soil improver, but one in three thinks it is a good action when they are offered an explanation. Seven out of ten say they want more knowledge. Additional benefits such as increased effect of chemical fertilizers and potentially increased harvests are highlighted as particularly interesting.
For the farmers to find this interesting, consideration must be given to the social, cultural, agronomic and economic conditions on the individual farms. Research shows that climate arguments are often not enough to motivate farmers to take action. It must also be feasible both in the practical and economic sense.
Read more about this in Nationen (Norwegian only).