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Climate Change

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 11th November 2009.

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Photo of Peter Ainsworth Peter Ainsworth Conservative, East Surrey

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.

Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

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.

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