Climate change and global warming are two of the most pressing issues of our time. Fortunately, there is a potential solution for this problem: carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration is a process in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored in underground reservoirs, oceans, or other natural habitats. This process can help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus helping to slow the effects of climate change and global warming. In this blog, we will discuss the various ways carbon sequestration can be used to tackle climate change and global warming, as well as how Hive is investing in carbon sequestration.
How is carbon sequestered?
There are several different methods of carbon sequestration that can be used to capture and store carbon dioxide in order to reduce its effects on the environment.
One of the most used methods of carbon sequestration is reforestation. By planting trees or plants we can capture large amounts of CO2. Plants use photosynthesis to capture and fixate carbon dioxide (Atmospheric carbon). Carbon fixation is a biosynthetic pathway by which atmospheric carbon is converted into metabolically active organic compounds. Carbon fixation in plants during photosynthesis utilises ATP and NADPH to assimilate carbon dioxide and form carbohydrates (eg. glucose). As plants grow, they absorb CO2 from the air and store it in their leaves, trunks and roots, helping to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Additionally, when trees are cut down or burned, their stored carbon dioxide is released back into the soil or atmosphere, making this an effective but short-term solution for carbon sequestration.
Another major method of carbon sequestration is through the use of biochar. Biochar is an advanced form type of charcoal made from woody plant material that has been heated to high temperatures in a low-oxygen environment. This process converts the “free carbon” in the woody material into fixed carbon in the biochar. The biochar can then be used as a soil amendment, helping to retain water, benefiting soil microbes, soil health and mineral availability while also locking away large amounts of carbon.
How is Hive working on carbon sequestration?
At Hive we have teams across the globe working on carbon sequestration in different forms.
First, we have Hive Ecosystems. Hive Ecosystems is a team based in South Africa that is focusing on restoring degraded land in order to sequester carbon. The team will be planting around 9 million spekboom plants in the next 3-4 years across our 7,000 hectares of thicket farmland. The land was previously used as agricultural farms which were significantly degraded and depleted of nitrogen, carbon, and minerals from livestock overgrazing. In coming years, the team will restore the degraded areas by rewilding the natural landscape, promoting/enhancing biodiversity and nurturing the carbon stocks from the growing foliage.
Second, Hive Ecosystems’ neighbour in South Africa, Hive Carbon. The Hive Carbon team is working on another method of sequestration mentioned in this blog, biochar. The team are taking alien invasive tree species (black wattle) and converting them into high grade biochar. The biochar can then be applied to agricultural uses for benefit soil quality and crop growth.
Finally, Hive Ventures has recently invested in BambooLogic, a bamboo plantation company. BambooLogic’s objective is to establish the largest bamboo plantations in Europe, with a goal to set up 2000 ha in the next few years. The goal is to produce bamboo to be used as a sustainable material for use across textile, paper, construction, composite, and food sectors. But the company will offer more than bamboo. The company will be storing carbon in the soil on the farms, which can then be assigned as carbon removal credits. Over the first 15 years of the project, BambooLogic plan to sequester 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2.
So, is carbon sequestration the solution?
Carbon sequestration has been proposed as a potential solution to climate change. While it may be part of the answer, there is no single solution that can address the global challenge of climate change. Carbon sequestration does have a role to play in the overall effort to reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, but it is not a comprehensive solution.
In addition to carbon sequestration, there are other measures that can be taken to mitigate climate change. These include reducing energy consumption, investing in renewable energy sources, increasing the efficiency of existing energy production processes, and changing land use practices. All of these steps can help reduce emissions and slow the rate of global warming.
Finally, a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change must include changes in behaviour and lifestyle. This means making changes in how people consume and interact with their environment, such as reducing waste, shifting to a plant-based diet, recycling, and purchasing items that are made sustainably.
Overall, while carbon sequestration may be part of the solution to climate change, it cannot be the only solution. It is essential to recognize that all these measures must be taken together in order to have the greatest impact on reducing emissions and slowing global warming.This process converts the “free carbon” in the woody material into fixed carbon in the biochar. The biochar can then be used as a soil amendment, helping to retain water, benefiting soil microbes, soil health and mineral availability while also locking away large amounts of carbon.