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Carbon Action pilot

Can the circular economy solve the climate crisis? One hundred farms will study and test methods for accelerating soil carbon sequestration.


In preventing climate change, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions alone is not enough. The extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must also be stored back in soil. We need a transition from industrial agriculture to circular agriculture, where fields are harnessed as carbon sinks that sequester carbon.

The purpose of the carbon pilot scheme is to find scientific answers and practical solutions to how carbon sequestration can be implemented in agriculture. The aim is to launch a research and pilot project lasting 10 years. The trial will seek methods that could be applied widely on different farms.

What do we do?

In the carbon pilot scheme, high-quality scientific data is combined with grass-roots-level trials. The project seeks to find a total of one hundred farms with which to study various methods and practices of carbon sequestration.

The research will increase information about the carbon cycle and storage from the atmosphere into soil, and test and compare the effects of the practices used on different farms on the carbon sequestration in soil. Potential methods and practices for carbon sequestration include crop rotation, tillage using a narrow range of species or reduced tillage, fibre-based soil conditioners, organic fertilisers and biostimulants.

Who is participating?

The main participants are the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Sitra. BSAG is responsible for the management of the project and the Finnish Meteorological Institute leads the scientific research. Sitra has launched the pilot scheme and will provide funding for it until August 2019. Other parties involved in the project are the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Environment Institute and Tampere University of Technology.

Where have we got to so far?

The search for the farms to take part in the trial began and the measures to be taken on each farm will be planned in autumn 2017. In addition, a comprehensive survey of the research data collected so far will be completed.


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