Bloomberg Philanthropies Allocates $2.8M For Biochar Project To Reduce Emissions

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Glove hand with a small shovel on charcoal (biochar) texture background for fertilizer. Image: Gulthara/Shutterstock

Bloomberg Philanthropies – the organization aiming to create lasting change, announced on June 28th that it has chosen seven cities from the US and Europe to receive support to develop city-wide biochar project and engage residents in the fight against climate change.

The cities will each receive up to $400,000 in funding, along with implementation and technical support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The cities are as follows: Lincoln in Nebraska; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Darmstadt, Germany; Helsingborg, Sweden; Sandnes, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; Cincinnati, Ohio.

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The funding is for the adoption of Stockholm’s 2014 Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge winning Biochar Project. The Challenge is a competition designed by the organization to spark innovative ideas for improving the lives of people living in cities, by encouraging leaders to think outside the box about how to confront their most difficult challenges.

Back in 2014, the city of Stockholm won the challenge with its biochar project that turns plant waste from parks and homes, everything from grass clippings to trees and limbs, into a charcoal-like substance.

The biochar can be used by residents in their yards and gardens to help combat climate change. It represents a natural carbon sink method and is used as a soil fertilizer to promote plant growth. When plant waste is burned to create biochar, it is done in a way that traps the carbon from the atmosphere already locked in them.

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The project is expected to produce 3,750 tons of biochar, which would sequester almost 10,000 tons of CO2 per year. Another aftermath of the project is engaging thousands of residents across the seven cities to contribute to the success of this common effort that reduces emissions.

“Stockholm’s Biochar Project is a remarkable example of how a great idea in one city can inspire positive climate action in cities around the world… We are eager to see how civic leaders in these next seven cities build on Stockholm’s lessons learned and take their own efforts to engage residents and reduce carbon emissions to entirely new heights,” said James Anderson, the leader of the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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