Biofuelwatch works to raise awareness of the negative impacts of industrial biofuels and bioenergy on biodiversity, human rights, food sovereignty and climate change. Based in UK and US, we work with national and international partners to expose and oppose the social and environmental damages resulting from bioenergy-driven increased demand for industrial agriculture and forestry monocultures.

Read more about us, find evidence-based resources about biofuels, biomass and biochar, find out about our UK campaign, our work on GE trees and on geoengineering or take part in our email action alerts.



UK Campaign: Although public consultations have closed, UK and Scottish government reviews of subsidies for biomass and biofuel electricity are ongoing.   Click here for more information; click here to write to your MP; and email us to find out how to help further with the UK and/or Scottish campaign.

Searching for remains of a biochar trial plot in Cameroon,                      Photo: Benoit Ndameu

 Biochar (i.e. fine-grained charcoal applied to soils) is being promoted for lots of things: Mitigating climate change by sequestering biomass-derived carbon in soils, making soils more fertile and thus increasing crop yields and alleviating poverty amongst small-farmers, and more.  Some advocates are even speaking of hundreds of millions of hectares of land converted to biochar production and of using it to geo-engineer the planet’s climate.   When Biofuelwatch looked closely at the science behind it, as well as at claims about a widely publicised ‘pro-poor’ biochar project in Cameroon, we found those claims to be based largely on hype, not evidence.  Scientific field trials have shown is that the effects which different types of biochar have on different soils in different conditions varies hugely and cannot be predicted, at least not with current knowledge.  In one 4-year study, less carbon was found on plots to which large amounts of biochar had been applied two years before than on ones without. And as a new report, based on field investigations by Cameroonian researcher Benoit Ndameu, about a biochar project by Belgian-based Biochar Fund in Cameroon shows – even a project widely hailed as having shown how small farmers can benefit from biochar may turn out to have been an example of unfulfilled promises and disappointed hopes.

Meantime, a growing number of scientists are also urging caution about biochar’s potential for climate change mitigation – see here and here.