As in past years, International Biochar Initiative (IBI) is an observer in this year’s COP event – here is a recap of Week 1 in Sharm el Sheikh, and next week we’ll share a review of Week 2.
Biochar – and announcements of biochar-related initiatives and new carbon markets – were highly present during week one of COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. In what some are characterizing as an “implementation COP,” biochar provides a strong solution for the many environmental and social problems being discussed, above and beyond biochar’s carbon removal capacity.
Amidst the hectic pace of a COP event, this year joined by over 35,000 people, carbon removals and markets, as well as discussions about loss and damage dominated the negotiations and many events within COP27 and along the sidelines.
In the first week, I represented IBI, and several IBI members were on site (and many more will be at week two), including Base Carbon, NetZero, and Trinity Biocarbon, an Egypt-based biochar startup. NetZero’s Axel Reinaud spoke on several panels at COP27, just after the announcement of the company’s first carbon removal credits to Boston Consulting Group as part of a newly announced long-term purchase agreement.
I joined Base Carbon and Trinity Biocarbon on a panel hosted by the International Federation of the Red Cross to explore how biochar production could support humanitarian work, including after natural disasters (think of all the biomass after a hurricane or typhoon, for example), as well as as part of long-term facilities supporting displaced people (think of a biochar circular economy to help mitigate waste streams, improve soils, create power, help with water and sanitation).
On the sidelines of COP27, IBI Sustaining member, Corigin, announced a joint venture to build an agro-waste plant in Senegal to support the Great Green Wall Plantations Initiatives. This exciting project will leverage Corigin’s know-how and technology to bolster the Great Green Wall in Africa.
Some very relevant announcements for the global biochar industry came through in week one as well: several African nations, Verra, Exchange Trading Group, Nando’s, and Standard Chartered launched the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative, and a supporting consortium, the Nature Framework Development Group. The EU agreed to increase carbon removals through land use, forestry, and agriculture. The US committed to several types of climate funding, as well as launched a new carbon offset plan. Carbon Development Council received a grant from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to support carbon removal.
Personally, as I moved through the event, I found it wonderful how many people I met know about biochar in some capacity, from corporates to aligned NGOs. My follow up list is long and rich with many of these new and old colleagues.
Resources to follow the final days at COP27 and look back at the previous days:
Wendy Lu McGill
IBI Interim Executive Director