Kutztown, PA, Sept. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and global health crises continue to threaten our world, the repercussions of a changing climate are being felt more acutely than ever. As the global community looks for solutions, we must critically examine the way we grow our food, and the potential of the soil under our feet to remove carbon, a powerful greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere and lock it underground.
A new white paper released Friday by Rodale Institute, the global leader in regenerative organic agriculture, has analyzed the explosive amount of new data on soil carbon sequestration potential in the past decade to conclude that a global switch to regenerative crop and pasture systems could drawdown more than 100 percent of annual CO2 emissions.
The white paper, titled “Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution,” builds upon claims first made by Rodale Institute in the widely read 2014 white paper, “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming,” integrating the newest research data while providing actionable steps for consumers, policymakers, farmers, and more. The full paper, as well as a fact sheet and action toolkit, can be downloaded at RodaleInstitute.org/Climate2020. The action toolkit includes a guide to buying regenerative products, tools to support regenerative farming policy, and social media graphics.
The new publication shows that a global switch to a regenerative food system could not only feed the world while reducing chemical exposure and improving biodiversity and soil health but could also be the key to mitigating the climate crisis. The paper was compiled through extensive peer-reviewed research data and interviews with leaders in the fields of soil microbiology, ranchland ecology, agronomy, and more, as well as research conducted in Rodale Institute’s world-renowned long-term comparison trials, including the 40-year-old Farming Systems Trial.
“Rodale Institute has been a leader in research about the impact and benefit of regenerative farming systems since Bob Rodale first started using the term in the 1980s,” said Dr. Andrew Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientist of Rodale Institute. “A vast amount of data on the carbon sequestration potential of agricultural soils has been published, including from Rodale Institute, and recent findings are starting to reinforce the benefits of regenerative agricultural practices in the fight against the climate crisis.”
Rodale Institute launched the paper today at The Crop Trust’s Food Forever Experience, held in partnership with Pocono Organics. The Food Forever Experience is held on the UN Global Day of Action, which encourages people to support the Sustainable Development Goals, including climate action.
Regenerative practices and building soil health have come into focus over the past few years, driven in part by the startling loss of topsoil globally, and the need for resilient agriculture to withstand extreme weather from the climate crisis. The carbon-storing potential of regenerative agriculture and its associated practices is well-documented—however, we need rapid transition to these practices globally to implement this climate change solution.
“Humans broke the planet with grave agricultural malpractice,” said Tom Newmark, Chairman of The Carbon Underground, a contributor to the paper. “With this white paper, Rodale Institute shows us how regenerative agriculture has the potential to repair that damage and actually reverse some of the threatening impacts of our climate crisis. This is a compelling call to action!”
“Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution” hopes to increase implementation of regenerative practices by tackling common debates about agriculture and the climate crisis, such as the role of livestock in contributing to global climate change. Alongside research into cropland, the paper investigates regenerative ranching’s potential to build soil carbon and help sequester emissions in the soil.
Through the publication of this white paper, Rodale Institute hopes to invite those in the food, farming, and health spaces to rethink the future they want to see for both people and the planet, and what steps they can take every day to achieve it.
About Rodale Institute: Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely considered the global leader in regenerative organic agriculture, Rodale Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers, scientists, and consumers throughout the world since 1947. Learn more at RodaleInstitute.org.
Margaret Wilson Rodale Institute 610-597-5650 firstname.lastname@example.org