Biochar’s Unproven Claims
A 3-page factsheet summing up the main findings of the 2011 Biofuelwatch report “Biochar: A Critical Report of Science and Policy” as well as recent scientific and policy developments, substantially updated 1st July 2013
Biochar: A Cause for Concern?, Almuth Ernsting, The Ecologist Blog
Biochar Fund Trials in Cameroon: Hype and Unfulfilled Promises [about 1 MB] , by researcher Benoit Anthony Ndameu and Biofuelwatch, 29th November 2011
To download the Executive Summary only, please click here.
Report about Biochar Fund’s trials in South-west Cameroon, based on field interviews in April 2011. The report looks at the claims made by Biochar Fund about the project and compares them to the experiences of farmers with it and as well as documents obtained during the field visit.
As the impacts of climate change escalate, efforts to develop new technologies and new approaches to reducing emissions are promoted. One proposal is to sequester carbon in soils using biochar. Biochar is essentially fine grained charcoal. Advocates claim that adding biochar to soils will store carbon safely away from the atmosphere for hundreds or even thousands of years, while boosting soil fertility and providing other benefits.
What is the basis of these claims?
Is biochar really a viable approach?
This is the final version of a report first published in June 2011, and a substantially expanded update of our 2009 “Biochar for Climate Mitigation: Fact or Fiction”. It takes a critical look at the claims around biochar, reviews the science underlying the claims, provides an overview of what biochar advocates are pushing for in terms of policies and supports, and presents an outline of the companies involved.
Updated briefing (2nd edition) by the African Biodiversity Network, Biofuelwatch and the Gaia Foundation.
The growing links between biochar advocates and the Canadian tar sands industry, Biofuelwatch briefing
(Las conexiones crecientes entre el biochar y la industria canadiense de arenas petrolíferas)