Carbon Capture and Storage in Soils – EU Review
A new review, showcased on the EU DG Environment website, explores the different EU strategies for capturing carbon in soils. Research has previous indicated that 60-70 million tonnes of CO2-eq could be captured in soils.
Carbon can be trapped in the soil by the activities of bacteria, fungi and earthworms and the conversion of organic matter to humus – which remains in the soil, preventing the release of CO2. Spreading biodegradeable waste, such as sewage and crop residues, on to agricultural land, can also contribute to carbon capture. This practice could contribute 2 – 20 million tonnes of CO2-eq per year to soil carbon capture, given differences in soil and climate.
A crucial factor in the capacity of this practice to contribute to carbon capture is the quality of the waste spread on the land. An initiative under the EU Waste Framework Directive aims to define quality standards for this.
DG Environment is working to develop a ‘Life Cycle Thinking’ approach to managing waste – examining the total impact of the use of products and services on the environment, from extraction to manufacturing to recycling and eventual disposal. The aim is to avoid shifting environmental impacts from one component of the cycle to another or onto different environmental systems. Find out more about Life Cycle Thinking here.
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