Organic farming to mitigate climate change

Monday, 21 April, 2008

A 30-year scientific trial shows that organic practices can counteract up to 40% of global greenhouse gas output.

“A scientific trial of organic and conventional farming practices has proved that organic practices can be the single biggest way to mitigate climate change,” Organic Federation of Australia chairman Andre Leu said.

“Scientists at the Rodale Institute in the US have proved that organic farming practices can remove about 7000 kilos of carbon dioxide from the air each year and sequester it in a hectare of farmland.”

The scientists estimated that if all of America’s 100 million hectares of cropland were converted to organic practices, it would be the equivalent of taking 217 million cars off the road. This is nearly 88% of all cars in the US and more than a third of all the cars in the world.

"We've shown that organic practices can do better than anyone thought at sequestering carbon, and could counteract up to 40% of global greenhouse gas output," Dr Paul Hepperly, PhD, research director at The Rodale Institute and Fulbright Scholar, said.

“The important point about this groundbreaking research is that the amount of CO2 sequestered is based on what has been achieved through current organic farming practices. This is not a theoretical estimate as in some of the tree plantation models or unproven like the millions of dollars being spent on clean coal or mechanical geo sequestration trials,” Leu said.

“This is being achieved now by organic farmers in the US, Australia and around the world. Adopting organic practices on our farmland in Australia is a proven way to remove huge quantities of greenhouse gases and help in the fight against climate change.

“There is no other proven method that is as effective as organic farming in removing such large quantities of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and sequestering them into the soil. The Australian government and industry need to start seriously investing in organic farming for the benefit of the whole planet.” 


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