Published: 05 February 2018
Reforestation, sustainable farming, and wetlands conservation could significantly slash down the amount of carbon emissions that humanity spews into the atmosphere through fossil fuel use. The Kenya National Discourse Forum (KNDF) Climate Change expert, Mr Peter Omeny, stressed on this during a Climate Change Workshop held at Cicada Hotel, Eldoret in December 2017.
During the workshop, the global trend of carbon emission was shared; Mr. Omeny also stressed that better land-use could reduce carbon dioxide by thirty seven percent (37%) and this would be enough to hold global warming below two degrees Celsius(2°cc) by 2030, as called for by the Paris Agreement.
The workshop also highlighted that the biggest way to slow down climate change is by planting more trees and stopping deforestation, since trees absorb large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Mr. Omeny said that a better stewardship of forests could remove seven billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by 2030, equivalent to taking 1.5 billion gasoline-burning cars off the roads. He added that the changing farming practices could also cost-effectively deliver twenty two percent (22%) of the emissions reductions according to some studies - equivalent to taking 522 million gasoline cars off the road.
Smarter farming solutions include improving the use of chemical fertilizers to allow better crop yield and reducing emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Finally, the expert urges the conservation of wetlands and a halt to the draining of wetlands, which hold about a quarter of the carbon stored by the world’s soils. Wetlands are disappearing fast, with some 1.9 million acres (780,000 hectares) lost globally each year, largely due to crop cultivation.