Soil Carbon Sequestration & Climate change mitigation

Soil organic carbon plays a big role in climate change. 

Soil organic carbon is crucial to soil health, fertility, ecosystem services, and food production. Soils with high carbon content are likely to be more productive and better able to filter and purify water. 

The impact of soil organic carbon loss

The degradation of one third of the world’s soils has released up to 78 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere. Further damage to soil carbon stocks through poor land management will hamper efforts to limit global temperature rise, to avoid increased floods, droughts and other negative climate change impacts.

With sustainably managing soils, we can mitigate climate change and improve food security.

Carbon sequestration, monitoring and maintenance in soils can enhance climate resilience, as a healthy amount of SOC can help plants cope. Soil rehabilitation in agricultural soils can remove carbon from the atmosphere. SOC sequestration is a slow and reversible process. SSM practices need to be adopted over the long-term. Governments now need to support land users to implement them.

  • Carbon is sequestered in soil by plants through photosynthesis and can be stored as soil organic carbon (SOC).
  • Carbon sequestration secures carbon dioxide to prevent it from entering the Earth’s atmosphere.  
  • Improved agricultural practices can help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from agriculture and other sources and by storing carbon in plant biomass and soils.  
  • EJP SOIL will contribute by developing new knowledge on carbon sequestration in agricultural soils under different conditions across Europe and its contribution to climate change mitigation.

RICI - Access to cross-European soil science expertise

‘Resources, Infrastructure and Capabilities Inventory (RICI)’ is an online platform for policy stakeholders. RICI provides access to a pool of specialized scientists and experts at local, regional and national level across Europe. The online inventory is the ‘Yellow pages’ on expertise on soil science in relation to questions for policy matters.