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Policy

IBI Policy Objectives

IBI’s mission includes helping facilitate the deployment of sustainable biochar production and utilization systems worldwide. Two of the most important opportunities for the recognition of biochar as a powerfully simple tool to fight global warming are the post-2012 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and energy and climate legislation and policies now being adopted in nations around the world, including in the United States and Australia.

As a 2,000 year-old practice that has been updated with modern technology, biochar is one of the few technologies that is relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable. The key to advancing biochar is recognition that we really can’t afford not to pursue it because of these benefits:

  • Biochar holds carbon (C) to help fight global warming and provide economic value in a future carbon-restrained economy
  • Additional C and Non-C emissions reductions from biochar systems
  • Bioenergy co-products (syngas, bio-oil, heat) can provide clean, renewable energy
  • Water quality impacts (reduced nutrient leaching)
  • More fertile soil to boost food security and preserve cropland diversity
  • Enhanced soil water retention
  • Reduced need for chemical fertilizer
  • Agricultural waste is reduced and used as a valuable soil enhancer
  • Reduced soil erosion, degradation
  • Discourages deforestation by making croplands more fertile 
  • Distributed, on-farm systems

Until markets recognize these benefits, financing for biochar production and utilization systems through conventional means will continue to be difficult.

IBI has identified the following major policy objectives to help deploy biochar systems globally. These are:

  • UNFCCC recognition of biochar as a vital tool for developed and developing country emissions reductions with attendant food security, energy security, and other environmental co-benefits.  IBI is specifically seeking carbon credits from emission reductions that are measurable, reportable, and verifiable. Click here for an IBI document on Biochar in the UNFCCC process
  • The development of standardized tests and classification systems and whole-system sustainability criteria for biochar production and utilization systems.
  • Coordination of a focused biochar R&D agenda to continuously further our scientific understanding, and advocacy for and identification of public and private R&D funding for biochar systems at scale. 

IBI has already accomplished a great deal in its short lifespan as an organization. Working closely with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), IBI has successfully advocated for the inclusion of biochar in the proposed UNFCCC post-2012 Copenhagen Framework currently being negotiated and shaped.  To date, at least 20 countries and Parties to the UNFCCC, as well as the UNCCD Secretariat, have made agenda submissions to the UNFCCC seeking the inclusion of biochar as a high-potential climate change mitigation and adaptation tool.

IBI’s International Policy page has the latest updates on biochar and its status within existing and future international treaties and accords.

IBI’s Regional Policy page has current information on biochar policies being developed at national, regional, and state levels around the world.

Please help the IBI network stay current on fast moving policy developments around the world. Send information and updates on policy in your area to info@biochar-international.orgClick here for more information on how you can get involved in policy.