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The interest in soil carbon research and agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation strategies seems to have increased at the UN climate convention in Marrakech 

Hope for Soils and Agriculture at COP22

November 9, 2016

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The interest in soil carbon research and agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation strategies seems to have increased at the UN climate convention in Marrakech compared to Paris a year ago.

Johannes LehmannJohannes Lehmann, Professor, Soil and Crop Sciences at Cornell University, is a member of Cornell's COP22 delegation (watch his video)

While soils were explicitly excluded in early iterations of UN climate agreements, they were at least implicitly allowed as part of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the Paris agreement. But the Paris accord does not mention the word agriculture or soil anywhere.

So, it is good to see that soil carbon and greenhouse gas research receives great interest here in Marrakech. Our presentations on the potential of soil carbon were well received. We will observe how the tune develops through the second week of the convention, which culminates with events by the French initiative “4 per mil” (to increase soil carbon annually by 0.4% to offset fossil fuel emissions).

Showing global leadership, 27 African countries confirmed the AAA, the Marrakech Declaration for Adaptation of African Agriculture, spearheaded by the Moroccan government. With Morocco being the host of this UN convention, agriculture may possibly make it this time into the negotiating text, and hopefully the potential of soil carbon sequestration will be mentioned.