Carbon-negative biofuels

John A. Mathews*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current Kyoto-based approaches to reducing the earth's greenhouse gas problem involve looking for ways to reduce emissions. But these are palliative at best, and at worst will allow the problem to get out of hand. It is only through sequestration of atmospheric carbon that the problem can be solved. Carbon-negative biofuels represent the first potentially huge assault on the problem, in ways that are already technically feasible and practicable. The key to carbon negativity is to see it not as technically determined but as an issue of strategic choice, whereby farmers and fuel producers can decide how much carbon to return to the soil. Biochar amendment to the soil not only sequesters carbon but also enhances the fertility and vitality of the soil. The time is approaching when biofuels will be carbon negative by definition, and, as such, they will sweep away existing debates over their contribution to the solution of global warming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-945
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

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