Soil Carbon – neuer Hoffnungsträger oder großer Irrweg?

Vom 3. bis 5 Mai trafen sich in Paris mehr als 150 internationale Bodenwissenschaftler/innen und Expert/innen, um zu diskutieren, welche Rolle die CO2-Speicherung in Böden bei der Suche nach schnellen und nachhaltigen Klimaschutzlösungen spielen kann. Die Ziele der hochrangigen Konferenz Sequestering Carbon in Soil – Addressing the Climate Threat waren:

  1. Identify and convene influential experts, scientists, practitioners, public officials, and philanthropists to accelerate progress and build the field of soil-based carbon sequestration.
  2. Showcase research, pilot projects, policies, financial structures, and incentives for hastening adoption of carbon sequestration best and emerging practices.
  3. Explore tangible action plans and initiatives with the potential to help ensure a global carbon budget that keeps global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C.
  4. Prioritize systems thinking and a conference agenda that explores the many co-benefits of returning carbon to soil.
  5. Identify needed next steps for research, policy initiatives, action campaigns and Investment opportunities.

Nun ist es ja so, dass es nicht das erste Mal wäre, dass eine gut gemeinte Idee mit dem Gefühl der Dringlichkeit der Klimakrise im Nacken am Ende zu falschen und kontraproduktiven Lösungen geführt hätte… Ich sage nur: Biotreibstoffe! REDD+!

Einige von uns Konferenzteilnehmenden in Paris – darunter viele Kolleg/innen aus dem Globalen Süden – haben sich daher bei der Konferenz selber mit dem folgenden Statement zu Wort gemeldet:

Statement from Participants

at Conference on “Sequestering Carbon in Soil: Addressing the Climate Threat”

We, a group of conference participants who believe in the urgency of addressing the threats of climate change through holistic perspectives and systems thinking, recognize the powerful potential of putting carbon in the soil for mitigating GHG emissions. However, we wish to call your attention to the risks of centering the conference on soil carbon sequestration as the main response strategy. We have heard that many other participants and the organisers of this event share our concerns. We hope to contribute to a successful outcome of this conference by making the following statement to clarify our perspective and propose a way forward.

As we already know, analysing, understanding and dealing with complex social and ecological impacts of climate change on food and farming systems requires a holistic approach. We are deeply concerned that a narrow focus on carbon, however, may lead to unintended negative consequences, such as further fostering a profit-driven economy around the commodification of soil, incentivizing industrial agriculture through carbon markets, promoting land grabbing, increasing corporate control over land and other resources, and repeating failed schemes like REDD+ schemes and carbon markets, which have benefitted carbon traders and large scale agricultural operations at the expense of our communities.

Given the urgency of tackling global climate change, we propose to reframe the emphasis of the conference around the much-needed transformation of conventional food and farming systems and their root causes through the holistic approach of agroecology. This transformation centers the improvement of small-holders’ and indigenous communities´ livelihoods as a key strategy to achieve food sovereignty, equity and resilience. This approach will in turn lead to healthy soils rich in organic matter and carbon as an added benefit and ultimately contribute to the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, a goal we all share.

We believe that this new emphasis not only echoes the concerns of many participants, but would also elicit a more inclusive, productive and enduring global network for addressing climate change by strengthening resilient rural communities with secure access to soils, water, biodiversity and other resources. We invite our fellow conference participants to join us in reframing our conversations today and going forward, utilizing this more holistic approach to build a truly broad movement for change.

Thank you for listening to us this morning and for this opportunity to share our views and our proposal.

Presented by Shoba Liban, Pastoralist Women for Health and Education, Kenya

5 May 2017, Les Fontaines, Chantilly France

Signed* by (listed in alphabetical order on following page):

Camilla Ables, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine*

Miguel A. Altieri, Sociedad Cientifica LatinoAmericana de Agroecologia-California

Million Belay, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Ethiopia

Javier Carrera, Red de Guardianes de Semillas, Ecuador

Jimena Esquive, CATIE-Costa Rica

Lili Fuhr, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Germany

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Pesticide Action Network North America, USA

Edna Kaptoyo, International Indigenous Womens Forum (FIMI), Kenya

Shoba Liban, Pastoralist Women for Health and Education, Kenya

Clara Nicholls, Sociedad Cientifica LatinoAmericana de Agroecologia (SOCLA), Colombia

Julio C. Postigo, NORC at the University of Chicago

Elsa Sanchez, CRS Central America

Lea Astrude T. Santiago, organic farmer, Philippines

Ruchi Shroff, Navdanya International

Javier Silva, Universidad Nacional Agraria, Nicaragua

Danilo Solano Rojas Asociacion de Agricultores para la Captura de Carbono, Costa Rica

Lemma Kebede Wassie, Center for Indigenous Questions, Ethiopia

*Institutional affiliation provided for identification purposes only

Andere machen sich schon viel länger Gedanken und Sorgen über die Einbeziehung des Landsektors ins Klimaregime in Form von Soil Carbon. Hier ein paar der wichtigen Materialien, die es schon gibt:

Worum geht es bei der Initiaitve? „The 4‰ Initiative, launched by France, sets out to bring together all willing contributors in the public and private sectors (national governments, local and regional government, companies, trade organisations, NGOs, research facilities, and others) under the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA). The aim of the Initiative is to demonstrate that agriculture, and agricultural soils in particular, can play a crucial role where food security and climate change are concerned.“

Darüber reden wir übrigens auch in unserem Podcast: Precious Soils and Seeds – Industrial agriculture and climate smart farming

„The food that we eat plays a big role in the search for solutions. Agriculture is one of the major contributors to climate change. But the way we farm our land can also be a big part of the answer.

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  • Und schließlich möchte ich hier nochmal an die Studie erinnern, die das Soil Carbon Pilotprojekt der Weltbank in Kenia ausgewertet hat. IATP und andere kommen zum Schluss (2012):

„The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) has been promoted as a “triple win” for mitigation, adaptation and increased crop yields. It has been used by the World Bank and others to convince developing country governments that this is the right approach to attract urgently needed finance for both adaptation to climate change and agricultural development. The World Bank issued a press release at the time stating, “the direct benefit to local communities is over $350,000, with an initial payment of $80,000 to be made in the first year, 2011.” Even beyond the funding, a key objective of the Bank’s BioCarbon Fund through such projects is to “inform the debate on opportunities and challenges for operationalizing GHG mitigation operations in the agriculture sector.“ Yet two years after its launch, any lessons the Bank has learned from the project remain obscure. The two implementation-related World Bank documents on the Kenya Project contain little information about its development. And neither the Bank nor the FAO have held an open public consultation on the merits of this approach for small farmers and food security.“ […] „IATP demonstrated in 2011—using the project developer’s own figures—that the carbon revenue from the project would yield less than a dollar per hectare per year for 60,000 farmers (depending on what was included in the transaction costs) and taking the carbon calculations at face value. The Bank has guaranteed to pay Vi Agroforestry $4/tonne for at least 150,000 credits generated by the project. This is a small proportion of the 1.2 million tonnes of C02 the project is supposed to sequester in its lifetime.“ […] „The little information that comes from proponents of these approaches (who are also donors to these projects) asserts their benefits without much analysis and data to back up their claims. An independent assessment must take place, led by grassroots organizations who are not vested in promoting the carbon market to analyze the merits of this approach for preparing small farmers to adapt to and protect their agriculture systems from climate change, for ensuring food security and creating food sovereignty.“