Socio-economic Assessment of Implementation of Policy Options for Biochar Systems as a Mitigation Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Emissions-India as a Case Study

By Baishali Dutta and Vijaya Raghavan.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Combating global climate change and meeting the ever-rising energy demands of the world are concerns that have occupied researchers all around the globe. Adding to this dilemma is the ever-increasing population, which has created enormous stress on our fragile planet. Out of this, the contribution of the agricultural sector was nearly 10%. One promising approach to lowering GHGs (greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere is biochar. Biochar can be produced from agricultural residues available on the farm for long-term storage of carbon in soil. However, there are still a number of uncertainties associated with the environmental and economic performance of different biochar production pathways. It has been stated that obstacles such as technology costs, system operation and maintenance, feedstock availability, and biochar handling may stall rapid adoption of biochar production systems. This is particularly true for developing nations like India, wherein the challenges associated with the production of biochar for environmental usage are many fold. The complexity and heterogeneity of woodfuel-related issues in India present policy makers with major challenges. Hence, it becomes important to understand the extent to which the production strategies for biochar production and biochar as a means of long-term sequestration can be subject to policy making, and the priorities which would drive these policies in these tropical countries. This research addresses mitigation and adaptation technology of biochar by identifying and recommending appropriate policies for successful adoption of biochar projects at the end user interface. This study also highlights the challenges related to biochar/charcoal production in a developing country like India. The existing policies related to different biochar production strategies already in place were evaluated and critiqued, and the viability of these policies in order to carry out the successful adoption of these biochar systems as an important tool for GHG abatement was determined.

Keywords: Biochar, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Policy Analysis

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.101-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 667.005KB).

Baishali Dutta

Ph.D. Candidate, Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Vijaya Raghavan. My doctorate is related to “Evaluating mitigation strategies for global climate change with effective carbon management”. In the course of my studies, I have become highly interested in environmental policies and the science behind it.

Vijaya Raghavan

James McGill Professor, Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Vijaya Raghavan obtained his B.Eng. (mechanical engineering) from Bangalore University, India, his M.Sc. (agricultural engineering) from the University of Guelph, and his Ph.D. (agricultural engineering) from Colorado State University. He became an assistant professor in 1977, an associate professor in 1983, and a full professor in 1987 at the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Macdonald Campus in McGill University. He was Chair of the Department from 1993 to 2003, and has been the recipient of a James McGill Professor award since 2002. The main thrust of his research efforts over the last two decades has been to study and develop post-harvest or post-production processes and technologies for the storage and drying of produce and crops. His research activities have also touched on other areas such as soil compaction and tillage practices, biofuels, and microbial fuel cells.

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