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Climate Change

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential of use of biochar to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and if he will make a statement. (298407)

[holding answer 9 November 2009]: The Royal Society published a report on Geo-engineering in September 2009 which concluded that techniques such as biochar may be useful contributors to reducing greenhouse gases on a small scale, although the circumstances under which they are economically viable and socially and ecologically sustainable remain to be determined.

A review was commissioned recently by DEFRA and DECC to assess the potential benefits, costs and issues surrounding the addition of biochar to soil. The review will help us understand the potential use of biochar to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We expect that the review will be completed by the end of December 2009.