North Carolina: Bio-char Legislation Recommended

Tom Miles

North Carolina: Bio-char Legislation Recommended
North Carolina Climate Action Plan Advisory Group: Agriculture, Forestry, and Waste Management Technical Work Group Mitigation Options

MitigationOption: Soil Carbon Management (AFW3)
GHG Reductions 2007-2020 4.9 MMtCO2e NPV -$26 milliion

Mitigation Option Description

Use of conservation tillage/no-till and other soil management practices can increase the level of organic carbon in the soil, which sequesters carbon dioxide. In addition, some practices lower fossil fuel consumption through less intensive equipment use. Other practices, such as the application of bio-char, can also increase the level of soil carbon and improve the soil. This option is designed to increase the acreage using soil management practices that lead to higher soil carbon content. Another element of this option is the promotion of organic farming techniques. A number of studies have found that organic farming techniques result in significantly higher levels of organic carbon in the soil relative to conventional cultivation methods.

Mitigation Option Design

Goals: By 2020, apply soil management practices on 50% of cultivated lands that currently do not use these techniques. Also, by 2020, 10% of statewide croplands under production will be certified organic.

Timing: By 2010, apply soil management practices on 20% of acres that currently do not use these practices. Achieve an increase to 50% of these acres by 2020. For organic farming, 1% will be certified organic production by 2010. The remaining organic production goal will be achieved by 2020.

Parties Involved: NC Department of Agriculture, NC DENR, NCSU (CALS, CNR), NC Extension, other agricultural organizations and associations.

Other: Studies in NC have found the potential to sequester one ton of carbon per acre through conservation tillage/no-till practices15 (equivalent to about 3.3 MtCO2e/acre).

Implementation Mechanisms