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The Promise of Biochar:Hope for our Climate, Fertile Farms Biochar and Policy Debbie Reed (MSc), Executive Director, International Biochar Initiative Northeast Biochar Symposium 2009 - UMassAmherst Friday, November 13, 2009
Biochar and Policy:The IBI Vision • IBI’s goals • recognition of the potential of biochar as a climate change mitigation & adaptation technology with ancillary (1⁰=soil enhancing) benefits • Promote supportive policy and regulatory environments to help foster investments in and commercialization of the nascent biochar industry • We (the “Royal We”) cannot afford to not consider the potential of biochar, and “We” must make the necessary investments to pursue this potential • IBI sees it’s role as sheparding this work within high level policy arenas, while continuing to facilitate, coordinate, and move the necessary underlying R&D, market, and commercialization needs
Biochar and Policy:International and Domestic Arenas 2007: IBI’s 1st International Conference, Australia • Significant Needs • R&D • Recognition, education, outreach • Market development • Policy Development • Significant Windows of Opportunity • UNFCCC, UNCCD, Millenium Development Goals • Australia, NZ, EU • US Congress Increasingly: Time is of the Essence
Biochar and Policy:UNFCCC and UNCCD UNFCCC post-2012 (i.e. post-Kyoto) Framework negotiations • IBI presence since COP14 Poznan, Poland (Dec. 2008), and at intersessionals since • IBI has pursued biochar accreditation within agricultural mitigation/terrestrial sequestration, with goal of developing country support, seconded by developed country support Progress: • UNCCD Secretariat and ~20 developing country written submissions to UNFCC in support of biochar as a mitigation and adaptation technology
Biochar and Policy:UNFCCC and UNCCD • UNFCCC progress (cont’d): • June 6, 2009 UNFCCC AWG-LCA negotiating text: “Parties shall cooperate in R&D of mitigation technologies for the agriculture sector recognizing the necessity for international cooperative action to enhance and provide incentives for mitigation of GHG emissions from agriculture, in particular in developing countries. Consideration should be given to the role of soils in carbon sequestration, including through the use of biochar and enhancing carbon sinks in drylands."
Biochar and Policy:UNFCCC and UNCCD • UNFCCC progress (cont’d): • Sept 15, 2009 UNFCCC AWG-LCA proposed consolidated negotiating text: “The development, application and diffusion, including transfer, of technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol in all relevant sectors, including, but not limited to, the energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry, health, tourism and waste management sectors;”
Biochar and Policy:UNFCCC • UNFCCC Process: next steps • Continued focus on sectoral (agricultural) mitigation track (soil carbon) • Increased focus on solutions/technology track • COP15 Copenhagen • Multiple side events on biochar • Delegate outreach and education • Convenings: IBI, Carbon War Room, biochar project developers, policy officials • Copenhagen = post-Copenhagen
Biochar and Policy:UNCCD • UNCCD: continued joint progress on biochar applications in drylands • Jointly developed R&D agenda, feedstock/deployment roadmap, project development, education and outreach • September UNCCD COP side event on biochar (Buenos Aires, Argentina) • Multiple joint events at UNFCCC negotiations
Biochar and Policy:The US Congress • The US Farm Bill • 2007 • Senator Ken Salazar introduced the Salazar Harvesting Energy Act of 2007 • 2008 • Farm Bill – Biochar R&D Program • “Biochar Research. Grants may be made under this section for research, extension, and integrated activities relating to the study of biochar production and use, including considerations of agronomic and economic impacts, synergies of co-production with bioenergy, and the value of soil enhancements and soil carbon sequestration."
Biochar and Policy:The US Congress • The 111th Congress: Climate Change Legislation & Biochar • 2009 • House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change invited Dr. Johannes Lehmann to testifiy on biochar • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) introduces S.1713, Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting & Restoration Act (WECHAR) • Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV) introduces companion legislation (H.R.3748) in the House • Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) introduces Clean Energy Partnership Act of 2009 (S.2729) • Currently working with members of Senate on biochar provisions in additional climate legislation to be introduced
www.biochar-international.org Debbie Reed (MSc), Executive Director International Biochar Initiative 415 Second Street, NE, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20003 email@example.com