European News Is Discouraging For No-Till Carbon Sinks

With government officials from the European Union objecting to the use of no-till and forest land as no-till carbon sinks, the U.S. recently made concessions in this area for reducing carbon dioxide losses into the atmosphere. This action took place during a recent meeting of worldwide government officials seeking approval of the international Kyoto Protocol treaty to curb climate change.

At a United Nations conference in the Hauge, European officials objected to the level of credit sought by the U.S. for carbon dioxide sinks to keep more man-made emissions from reaching the atmosphere. European officials pointed out that each American emits three times more greenhouse gases than the typical Frenchman.

Man-made carbon dioxide and five other so-called greenhouse gases are thought to be artificially warming the planet by storing the sun’s heat in the atmosphere.

As was reported on page 4 of last month’s No-Till Farmer, new scientific evidence indicates no-till can store more carbon in the soil than any other tillage system. Trees can also store extensive amounts of carbon due to improved forest management techniques.

Scientists have calculated that the U.S. could store as much as 320 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year with agronomic types of carbon sinks. That level would enable the U.S. to reach almost 50 percent of its target under the treaty which calls for reducing emissions by 7 percent from 1990 levels before 2012.

As a compromise at the European meeting, U.S. officials agreed to cut allowable credits for carbon dioxide sinks…

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