Just a few days after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, the state of Hawaii passed legislation in support of the agreement. One measure taken was the appointment of a Carbon Farming Task Force that since 1 July develops incentives for Hawaii’s farmers and ranchers to improve the resilience of their lands by increasing the soil’s carbon content, according to EcoWatch.

‘There is a really significant potential for carbon farming worldwide to play a role in reversing the climate crisis,’ says Connor Steadman, ecological designer and farmer planner, in the video with this post. Carbon farming stands for farming methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and capture and hold carbon in vegetation and soils.

Carbon farming may include a choice for fast growing crops, no-till cropping, stubble retention, agroforestry, or methane-reducing feed supplements. Across the globe farmers are experimenting with these methods, while governments are implementing policies to encourage carbon farming.

Cattle breeding

Agriculture accounts for 10 to 12 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cattle breeding is the largest contributor of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions such as methane. In a country like Brazil, the world’s second-largest beef producer, cattle breeding has contributed largely to deforestation too, reducing CO2-capture.

Carbon farming may help to reduce agriculture’s contribution to climate change. Next to Hawaii, five other states in the U.S. – Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, California and Vermont – implemented policies to encourage the farming method, EcoWatch reports.

Climate Action Challenge

Designers and creative thinkers considering to join the WDCD Climate Action Challenge with proposals on the topic of food, might want to take the principles of carbon farming into account. All details and background information for participants can be found on the challenge platform.

Good to know: the call for proposals has been extended until 24 September 2017.


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