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Soil carbon sequestration: how will it work?

How much carbon can we farm back into the earth?

Soil carbon sequestration seems like a win for everyone: it improves soil quality, removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and provides an additional source of income for farmers via carbon credits. It forms a major part of the federal government’s plan to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, with one official estimate suggesting that up to a fifth of our current yearly emissions could be negated with soil carbon. Is it really possible to put such a huge chunk of our emissions in the soil – and if so, how can we do it? What’s holding soil carbon farming back?

Cosmos spoke to Louisa Kiely, director of Carbon Farmers of Australia, and Dr Michael Crawford, CEO of the Soil CRC, about the soil carbon landscape, the technology and policy needed to increase soil carbon sequestration, and the potential for agriculture if it is increased.

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