288 pages, Line diagrams, graphs, tables, index
Rich countries are paying poor countries to fight climate change on their behalf - and one way they are doing it is through carbon sinks. These are reservoirs of organic carbon tied up in plants and in the earth, rather than being in the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. This book looks critically at this mode of climate change mitigation. Can it work? Is it just? And will poorer countries benefit? This book considers the scientific, economic and ethical basis for this type of mitigation. Previous attention has been focused mainly on reducing emissions from deforestation and land degradation (REDD), but this book is one of the first attempts to examine the potential for carbon sinks in agriculture in crop plants and the soil.
In assessing this, the author examines exactly how north-south climate mitigation trading works, or does not, and what the pitfalls are. It highlights the complex relationship between agriculture, particularly different forms of farming systems, and the mitigation of climate change. The arguments are backed up by original research with farmers in Brazil to demonstrate the challenges and prospects which these proposals offer in terms of payments for environmental services from agriculture through carbon trading.
'This book is important - and timely too - as the world begins to realise the connection between climate change, crops, farmers and the soil. Robbins sets out the facts and cogently argues the case for "cropping carbon". This book is a must for all who care about the climate, the soil and those who depend directly on agriculture for their livelihoods.' William Critchley, Head, Sustainable Land Management Unit, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands 'Agricultural climate change mitigation urgently needs attention. Robbins' analysis shows the challenges and opportunities of trying to bring together food production and climate change mitigation in the developing world.' Lini Wollenberg, University of Vermont, USA 'The soil is our greatest single sink for atmospheric carbon. Farmers hold the pivotal key to managing soil resources, mitigating climate change and ensuring a secure future. Dr Robbins's timely, thought-provoking and readable book examines the farming options. Readers will find his conclusions illuminating. This should be mandatory reading for national and international policy-makers.' Michael Stocking, Emeritus Professor of Natural Resource Development, University of East Anglia, UK
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