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Science-policy interface of soil-carbon sequestration

  • 1 February, 2024
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Policy
  • prof.dr. T.H. Morrisonprof.dr. .R.N.J. Comans
  • dr. I.M. Möllerdr. M. Hagens

Enhancing soil carbon storage appears simple and non-controversial, yet it is challenging to implement as changes in soil carbon levels are difficult to quantify given the naturally highly heterogeneous character of soils. While being adopted as a low-hanging fruit solution to address climate change, soil carbon storage faces substantial hurdles when integrated into climate policy. Key problems emerge in the translation of scientific insights from local-scale studies to global IAMs, as well as in applying science from generic IAMs to policy for specific farmlands and forests. This research aims to understand how knowledge related to soil-based CDR technologies is translated from local-scale studies to global climate assessments; how knowledge on soil-based CDR is translated from science into policy making; how and why translation errors occur both across scales and across realms and how these can be addressed. These objectives will be addressed for two types of soil carbon storage: Soil Carbon Sequestration (SCS) and Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW). Study sites include visiting IAM groups and research groups active in SCS and ERW quantifications at the lab and field scales. Methods include interviews, participating in research practices, and reviewing and comparing scientific literature and policy documents related to these CDR technologies.

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Lisa Matthews

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