Saturday, October 8, 2011

Now Comes EuroChar

Europe is again pushing the frontiers of climate engineering research, this time with "EuroChar," a comprehensive, continent-wide assessment of biochar as a carbon sequestration technology. The EuroChar project will, inter alia, demonstrate different biochar production methods, conduct a full Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), perform laboratory experiments on physical and chemical properties of biochar, and carry out three large-scale field trials in Italy, France, and the UK. The project, coordinated by the Italian Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), will cost a total 3.7 million, 2.5 million of which will be provided by the EU. EuroChar will run through the end of 2013.

With the SPICE aerosol injection and CarbFix CCS/enhanced weathering projects also underway (albeit with some growing pains), the existence of another high-profile European project signals that Europe is serious about research and development of climate engineering technologies. This contrasts unfavorably with the meager support currently offered by the US government, a point driven home this week by the release of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) report calling for a robust federal research program (see BPC Report, 10/6). It is high time for the US government to take a lead in global climate engineering research.

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