Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Creation of Task Forces to advance the implementation of the "4 per 1000" Strategic Plan #4per1000

Tom Miles



There is a little more activity than you have characterized but it is spread over broader areas. France has had a strong tradition in carbonization, charcoal, pyrolysis, torrefaction and the use of charcoal for industrial purposes. I have personally worked with French researchers and technology providers on pyrolysis and gasification since the 1980s.


IBI has members and subscribers who are active with biochar in France and French speaking countries in North Africa, SubSaharan Africa and in Brazil. Companies using biochar include a few composting and soil amendment companies. Most French research seem to be collaborative efforts in EU projects. We have heard that there has been historic opposition to biochar within INRA. The opposition may explain the limited activity by IRSTEA (formerly CEMAGREF) except for co-composting. We don’t know if that has changed with the merger of INRA and IRSTEA to INRAE.


INRAE is France's new National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, created on January 1, 2020, It was formed by the merger of INRA, the National Institute for Agricultural Research, and IRSTEA, the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment and Agriculture.”


There is some activity from ADEME but in the context of co-products of pyrolysis and gasification. Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie (ADEME).


Technology providers ETIA/VT Green, now Scanship, (represented by Norris Thermal in the US) and some producers like Florentaise and SLB Groupe in France have been strong supporters of biochar.    





From: <> On Behalf Of Benoit Lambert
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 2:00 PM
Cc: claudia.kammann@...; Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...>; Trevor Richards <trevor@...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Creation of Task Forces to advance the implementation of the "4 per 1000" Strategic Plan #4per1000


Ron and all,

Just so you know… Biochar is very little known in France, with the notable exception of Pro-Natura International and Guy Reinaud in Paris that does a very enthusiast promotion of biochar in French speaking developing countries, in particular Sénégal. Radio-France International even did a program about biochar use in that country. Biochar was launched through terra preta researches at Cornell University. France has no tradition of research in the field that I am aware of. Claude and Lydia Bourguignon, a very popular couple that fills-up auditoriums on the topic of soil degradation and soils’ health, mention biochar to say it is hypothetical at best. Paul Luu and former minister of agriculture Stéphane Le Foll that founded the 4p1000, seem to know little about biochar, we have an education challenge ahead (here my blog in 2016 on Le Foll and his 4p1000). Paul’s surprise to hear so much about biochar during the North American 4p1000 meeting (I followed the entire thing, 5 days) illustrates the absence of knowledge on biochar in France. In Europe it is lead by Germany, Sweden and Italy where there has been numerous meetings on biochar. Of course the European Union has a COST program on biochar. There is no book on biochar in French. Yet I should mention the city of Lausanne, French speaking, has financed a machine producing biochar for Swiss Biochar years ago. 

Kind regards, 

Benoit in Québec


Le 12 sept. 2020 à 15:06, Ron Larson via <rongretlarson@...> a écrit :


Claudia, Stephen, Trevor and list


Thanks for the alert.  I decided to apply.  Everyone might be limited to two of 24 groups.   Signing up took about 20 minutes.   No guarantee of acceptance.


I listened last May to a 5-day North-American (more Canadian than US) 4p1000 webinar-type meeting.  Last week the meeting summary was sent out - see;    

The word ‘biochar” appears 33 times - I think all related to comments - not presentations.

The last line of that report’s summary of the first day  was by Paul Luu - the director of 4p1000, who said about biochar (p42) “  "It is important to evaluate it quickly. Farmers are very enthusiastic; scientists are more reluctant." P. Luu.

This surprises me a little - because most scientists I read (especially soil scientists) are “very enthusiastic’.  As Luu moderated over the 5 days, I thought he was surprised about the many biochar comments - and was always very fair in dealing with biochar commenters.

4p1000 may sound like a small goal.  It is not.  This group could be a big help to promoting biochar.






On Sep 12, 2020, at 3:47 AM, Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:


Hi Joey, Hi all,


in a way, I found my way there, too, because I got nominated the representative of Hochschule Geisenheim University for 4per1000 – our institution joined the 4per1000 initiative early on when it was not well known yet.


Our president is quite dedicated to all measures combatting climate change and is aware of the utter importance of soils in this regard J, but since he has so much on his plate I volunteered.


And as you well know, with me rides the biochar topic... can’t have one without the other. So, here you go ;)


chars to all,



Von: <> Im Auftrag von Stephen Joseph
Gesendet: Samstag, 12. September 2020 07:24
Betreff: [EXTERN] Re: [Biochar] Creation of Task Forces to advance the implementation of the "4 per 1000" Strategic Plan #4per1000


sounds like a good one for Kathleen to be on as she is the chair of IBI


On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 3:02 PM Trevor Richards <trevor@...> wrote:

I've received an email from 4p1000...

"Invitation to Task Forces of the 4 per 1000 Initiative on soils for food security and climate"

I'm wondering if there should be a coordinated effort by international biochar community to participate & advocate for biochar.



Dr. Benoit Lambert

Founder and President / Fondateur et président
Cbiochar Enr. 
BioGéoThérapiste, auteur/blog 

Membre: Stratégie énergétique, biosphère et société, Genève
Reviewer/réviseur IPCC/GIEC, Working Group I (WGI), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), in particular Chap. 5 Carbon dioxide removal methods/biochar.
Tel: 450 775 7444
benoit.lambert7@... // benoit.lambert@... 





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