"Positive Feedback Loop": Alexey Ivanov on Carbon Farming at the RIIG Meeting in India

Photo: oecd-development-matters.org 10.02.2023 961

As part of the G20 Presidency, India is holding the Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG). Alexey Ivanov, Director of the International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre and Research Director of the Centre for Technology Transfer at National Research University Higher School of Economics, participated in the RIIG Inception Meeting as a representative of Russia. The event was held on February 8-9 in Kolkata.

The Russian delegation included representatives of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and a number of research institutes.

RIIG proposes the establishment of a G20 Working Group on Research, Innovation, and Equity, which would bring together leading economic powers to address these challenges.

In his speech, Alexey Ivanov highlighted the importance of achieving the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. These goals cannot be met without the development of carbon dioxide removal (CDR). One of the most effective solutions is biological sequestration of carbon, said Alexey Ivanov. If implemented properly, biological solutions may offer significant co-benefits. Nature-based solutions, a subset of biological carbon capture and storage methods which have ecosystem preservation at their core, may result in biodiversity restoration and preservation, reversal of soil degradation, flood and drought mitigation, and other ecosystem co-benefits.

In addition, biological solutions in a broader sense, such as the planting of tree and plant species with high sequestration potential, will produce a lot of biomass which may be put to use in a bio-economy that places more emphasis on the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

“Biological sequestration and bioeconomy may thus engage in a positive feedback loop where the development of one leads to further development of the other,“ 

stressed Alexey Ivanov.

In this context, carbon farming programmes, which promote the adoption of carbon sequestering methods by farmers, are gaining traction in the world. In India, one such project has recently been launched in Maharashtra state, which aims to reward farmers growing rice and cover crops for adopting no-till practices and thus improving the health of soils. In such programmes, payments come from private companies which want to offset their carbon footprint and or otherwise project a climate-friendly image.

Russia and Kazakhstan have abundant potential in biological carbon sequestration. Vast expanses of land withdrawn from agricultural production (in the order of tens of millions of hectares) and favourable climatic conditions allow this region to become a rich resource base for a carbon economy (negative emissions industry) and, consequently, a bioeconomy, said Alexey Ivanov. The international conference "Scaling Up Climate Action in Eurasia: Carbon Farming  and Trading," which the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre and its partners held as part of the 2022 World Investor Week in Astana, was dedicated to this topic.

At the same time, it is extremely important that the low carbon potential of these abandoned lands be seized in a way that is environmentally and economically beneficial to the country in which they are located and, through that, help achieve out common climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement, said Alexey Ivanov at the RIIG Inception Meeting.

The Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education is currently running a project that tests technologies for monitoring greenhouse gas fluxes in a range of terrestrial and marine ecosystems across the country, including inland waters, in order to obtain objective data for assessing their carbon sequestration potential. As part of this project, the Higher School of Economics has become the operator of a specialized carbon Pokrovsky agricultural carbon test site, which will be opened in the Moscow, Kaluga and Kirov regions.

Back in 2021, HSE published a report entitled “A Battle for the Climate: Carbon Farming as a Stake for Russia”, which provides an overview of the country's emerging agroforestry and carbon farming industry and its potential.

Source: HSE Daily

agricultural markets  India 

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