13 March 2024

The soil is a solution to climate change, not a victim

Healthy soil must be harnessed as a carbon sink to protect against 2C warming
In response to the recent findings from the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service (revealing how the world is already in breach of the 1.5 warming limit), experts are calling for a critical change in the world’s attitude towards soil health. Language associated with soil health should move away from ‘adaptation’; instead, we should be treating soil as a tool of climate change ‘mitigation’, allowing access to significantly greater funding.
Food Systems are responsible for 1/3rd of global green house gas emissions. Experts agree that a global transition to regenerative agriculture would not only mitigate this impact, but could also sequester an estimated 27% of the emissions needed to keep global temperature warming below 2 degrees. With regen agriculture, soils emitting carbon now become carbon sponges, making agricultural lands not carbon neutral but carbon negative.
Foto  Copyright © Sisterscom.com Depositphotos
Photo  Copyright © Sisterscom.com Depositphotos
This is not just an issue of perception and semantics - it’s fundamentally an issue of investment. The disparity in the ratio of fund allocation between adaptation and mitigation is huge - approximately 1:10 (e.g $46 billion - $571 billion in 2019-2020). To make transitions to regen practices (cover crops, crop rotation, no-till practices), farmers need financial support. This ratio has not dramatically changed since, and is far from the parity targeted by the Paris Agreement. Neither ‘soil’ nor ‘agriculture’ were referenced as mitigation strategies in the COP28 Global Stocktake Report, with ‘soil’ not being mentioned at all.
Speaking to Save Soil at COP28, Director of the G20 Global Land Initiative Coordination Office of UN Convention to Combat Desertification Dr. Muralee Thummarukuddy said “Land and Soil is an important solution against climate change, particularly in carbon sequestration, along with reducing in pollution and restoring biodiversity. It needs a much greater focus. As we can see from this analysis, there is a huge potential here to avoid raising global temperatures to 2 degrees.”
Speaking on the call for change, Praveena Sridhar, CTO of the Save Soil movement said “In light of this new data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, we find ourselves standing at the crossroads of multiple environmental challenges. These findings show exactly that, and reinforce the critical role of living soil as a solution in climate change mitigation. 
“It’s time for a paradigm shift in how we perceive and treat our soils - not just as a resource but as a powerful ally in our battle against global warming. By shining a spotlight on the global soil crisis and its potential to be a substantial part of a solution for the climate crisis, we will give ourselves a fighting chance to prevent the warming from hitting 2C.”
Also speaking to Save Soil at COP28, Ms. Hunter Lovins, President and Founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions said: "It's not a problem of ‘there is not enough money’ - the trick is to get that money out of the financial system to the farmers - when you do that by the way, you also build political capacity."
Dr Rosa Maria Poch, Chair of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils added at COP28: "It is time to recognize that by attending to the soil, the world largest living ecosystem, and caring for it, we may just find the answers we've been looking for all along."
Sadhguru Foto: Copyright © Ufficio Stampa Conscious Planet Salva il Suolo
Sadhguru. Photo: Copyright © Conscious Planet Save Soil Press
Save Soil founder and renowned Indian Yogi Sadhguru, also added: “The Source of all Life and Livelihood is rich Soil. Without affirming and enacting soil conservation measures, the devastating repercussions on farmer livelihood, climate change and unplanned migration will be unparalleled. Now is the time. #SaveSoil.” 
Save Soil is a global people’s movement (supported by the UNCCD, UNEP, UNFAO, IUCN, and World Food Program amongst others) supporting governments in establishing soil health policies.
For information, contact: contact.it@consciousplanet.org
Edited by editorial staff, Avion Tourism Magazine
Text source and photos: Copyright © Conscious Planet Save Soil Press
Visual and photos: Copyright © Sisterscom.com Depositphotos
Conscious Planet Save the Soil is the movement, and each one of us can become an active part by staying informed, promoting the movement, participating in events, and raising awareness among politicians. Learn more about the movement and how to become an Earth Buddy.
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