Biochar Network New Zealand (BNNZ) is delighted to hear the government announce in their budget further funding to assist farmers to respond to the impacts of global warming. Continuing with their commitment to moving towards a low carbon economy, providing additional funding to more sustainable land management will be of great benefit to farmers while also enhancing our international trading relationships and local environment.
BNNZ see biochar as one of the tools that can contribute to more sustainable land management. It provides multiple benefits to soil, while increasing fertiliser efficiency and nutrient retention, so reducing the quantity of fertiliser needed as well as reducing losses into waterways and other sensitive ecosystems.
The October 2018 IPCC special report highlighted Biochar (pyrolysis carbon capture and sequestration) as a key negative emissions technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The IPCC notes that even massive reductions in carbon emissions will be inadequate to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It notes that there is additional need for large-scale atmospheric carbon dioxide removal to prevent overshooting the 1.5°C temperature threshold. While increased forestry plantings will help, forestry carbon sequestration has land availability limits. Biochar technology is New Zealand’s biggest single technological opportunity to sequester carbon in soils for the long term while also achieving other productivity and environmental benefits.
Now is the time for NZ government policy to include biochar in Zero Carbon legislation, as well as to provide support for programs that assist large scale production and use of biochar in mainstream farming practice.
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