Re: A general reply to Michael's notes

Harry Groot

Claudia, Thanks for your emphasis on the need for collaboration and cooperation.  It's needed now (globally, tho particularly in the US!) and will be needed as an effective management tool increasingly as time passes and conditions worsen.  

Thanks too for the work you've done and shared willingly.

Harry Groot
Dovetail Partners, Inc.

On Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 10:36 AM Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:

I have read that there was more discussion from the side of Michael Shafer (Schäfer?) lately, condemning standards like the EBC (which was never made for developing countries but for Europe, like the name says), but at the same time, rejecting negative emission shemes like BECCS. It is right to be afraid of those, they would likely lead to land grabbing, if this strategy does make it through to global politics. The global politics, however, are mostly advised by earth system modeler scientists when it comes to climate change, mostly people doing IAMs (Integrated assessment models) that are rather economically driven. In other words, „let’s throw money this way and things will be fixed (regarding the necessary negative emissions)“. This would leave out or even endanger the existence of smallholder farmers to an extent that you wouldn’t like to think about, believe me…


This is one of the reasons why we tried to  get the earth climate modeller community doing assessments on Negative Emissions to acknowledge that biochar is a tool in a large diverse Negative Emission Technologies (NET) toolbox that they have so far overlooked. By working with them, which was a mutually enjoyable process of learning from each other. And this is how PyCCS as a NET came to be, why it was included in the 1.5°C IPCC special report. Our hope was to raise awareness that this tool in the NET toolbox can be applied everywhere, from small-scale rural for everyone, made by low-cost efforts, to industrial-scale when it comes to Europe or North America. (The EBC guidelines helped a little with the legislation in some European countries because they included all the rules, silly or not, that existed already around fertilizer laws and soil protection regulation and so on. Ignoring these would have resulted in zero legal way of using biochar. These regulation guys don’t care how logical things are, or if PAHs (if they exist) would even be bioavailable. If they are present, they just give you a fat „no“ and that’s it for you.)


We tried and still try to embrace the topic of biochar in research from this broad perspective, „Global and political governance“ and „local-rural for everyone“: The one who initiated the EBC (Hans-Peter Schmidt) also developed the Kon-Tiki Pyrolysis together with Paul Taylor as far as I know, back in 2014. They immediately put everything online, so that no one would go and put a patent on it; that it can be freely used by whoever wants to use it. Hans-Peter applied that newfound knowledge in a project in Nepal where the intention was to replace mineral (expensive) fertilizers in rural Nepal villages, which showed the potential for small doses of urine-biochar and manure compost as a root zone fertilizer. We published  the results of 21 field trials with on average 100% yield increase back in 2017 in Land Degradation and Development, which may be seen as proof of this broad spectrum of ours of approaching biochar. We/he also published the only review out there on animal feeding of biochar (Schmidt et al. 2019 in PeerJ). The latter work was financed by the same project that helped us to develop PyCCS, by the way…. I can sent both papers in case someone is interested (from a


Thus, to shoot someone first, verbally, calling them „gurus who’s approval no one needs“, and to ask questions later may be a little bit…. An American thing to do…? (Imagine me smiling, this is not said with spite.)


I just want to make sure, within this discussion, that a fight against certification schemes (that were meant for Europe) is simply not needed. In my view, a waste of energy. Rather, mutual discussions about how to improve approaches, in particular for trading C sinks (Negative emissions) globally, will be much more helpful and always warmly welcome.


We developed such a scheme lately and intend to develop it further, the starting of C sink certification you can find it here if you are interested It already enables trading C sinks (see I would be highly interested in schemes that can make sure that smallholder farmers can be included and that the biochar that is produced and used can be counted and certified. How to enable that and make sure it’s fool-proof? That no one can betray it and count „air C sinks“? I haven’t worked there, I have no idea about it. But solutions will only come with open-minded discussions.


Let’s all try to find solutions, not to do bashing or condemnation of each other‘s work J


Best regards,

Claudia Kammann




Von: [] Im Auftrag von d.michael.shafer@...
Gesendet: Montag, 3. August 2020 11:59
Betreff: [EXTERN] Re: [Biochar] You may already have seen this, if not, it is a good read




You are absolutely correct about the potential instability of injected, liquid CO2. I, however, have never considered this a carbon removal technology but only an emissions reduction technology. Collecting CO2 from power plant stacks does no more than reduce the about of new, fossil CO2 being emitted.


As for your comment about the term "burying" I agree, but think that we should go further. If you read the Chinese paper on the long-term impact of biochar in soil that Tom just recommended, you will see that the addition of biochar to soil dramatically increases soil's capacity to grab and sequester more CO2. Adding biochar to the soil results in increasing CO2 removal; it is not a static removal number.



Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt. photo

Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart

+1 732-745-9295 | +66 (0)85 199-2958 | d.michael.shafer@... | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53

61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand


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Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.Latest Tweet: $10 is all it takes to show your support as a vote to keep our “Stop the Smoke” campaign expanding across the globe…

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On Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 4:46 PM Tomaso Bertoli - CISV <tomaso.bertoli@...> wrote:

sadly the chart prepared by the © NewClimate Institute 2020
Authors Louise Jeffery, Niklas Höhne, Mia Moisio, Thomas Day, Benjamin Lawless
Disclaimer This paper was funded by the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G) which is an initiative of the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs.

Project number 219008  


is quite wrong in positioning Biochar 

without questioning the risks connected with injecting CO2 in underground storages that could fail in massive and deadly outbursts of CO2, 

the permanence (sequestration time) of biochar is for sure higher that the one provided by forests

and biochar is made also from crop residues not only Forests




also the wording "burying" used at page 4 in the bicohar chapter is, at least to my non native english sensibility, quite wrong !

should we suggest to change the word burying into adding or mixing 


Biochar involves sequestering carbon in charcoal by interrupting the natural plant decay carbon cycle using pyrolysis and, typically, burying the biochar in soil.


Once added to soils, biochar can improve soil quality – notably water retention and fertility.


Tom Miles & Co, could IBI send a formal letter asking to correct these simple errors ?


if not I will try sending an email myself


all the best from a sunny scorched and stormy Italy




On Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 10:59 AM d.michael.shafer@... <d.michael.shafer@...> wrote:

i just found the attached study from Carnegie. it says vey nice and useful things about biochar.




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Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart

+1 732-745-9295 | +66 (0)85 199-2958 | d.michael.shafer@... | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53

61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand


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Fehler! Es wurde kein Dateiname angegeben.Latest Tweet: $10 is all it takes to show your support as a vote to keep our “Stop the Smoke” campaign expanding across the globe…

Read More

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