- Demonstrate and develop biomass gasification as a viable replacement for fossil fuel combustion in agricultural practices
- Improve the economic situation of rice farming communities
- Establish a system by which the char created in the gasification process is used to create biochar and improve local soil quality
- Create a system of carbon sequestration and verification
- Use this verified carbon sequestration as the basis for a market mechanism to balance carbon emissions with carbon sequestration
Carbon Neutral Commons is promoting a reformation of world energy management by replacing fossil fuel combustion by creating energy through gasifying crop residues. The process of gasification prevents carbon and methane emissions, and creates char as a byproduct. This char can be turned into biochar, simultaneously sequestering carbon and improving soil productivity.
This process creates one side of a methodology for Biological Carbon Capture and Storage (BCCS). It begins with accounting for the carbon we bring into the short-term carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels. By measuring the amount of carbon sequestered in biochar, an equivalent amount of carbon can be removed. By accurately measuring and certifying the rate at which carbon is added and removed, we can show the cost of balancing the atmospheric concentration of carbon.
This creates a basis with which a dollar value could be applied to both sides of the equation, developing a market-based mechanism for nations, companies and individuals to “clean up” their carbon emissions. In our vision the farmers supplying the biomass used for carbon sequestration will sequester the biochar in the same soil crops grow from. They will “export” a certificate indicating to the purchaser the number of atoms of carbon they have sequestered. Finally, the system must use rigorous third-party auditing system to guarantee quality and transparency of the system.
This is a massive task; clean air is an international public good. The governance challenges that must be overcome to implement this effort with a reasonable chance of success are unprecedented in the history of human affairs. By showing how the method could be implemented we hope to encourage the possibility of this market-based solution to the problem of private overuse of this public good.