Biochar is currently one of the dominant topics in soil research, despite the fact that it is not a new discovery. It has the potential to address some of the most pressing questions humanity is currently facing, that is climate change, food security, energy security and environmental pollution. However, a soil system is very complex and together with the multitude of biochar production settings and nearly infinite number of potential feedstock resources it becomes evident that there is no single solution for these challenges available. This is specifically an issue when addressing the potential of biochar for climate change mitigation via reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG). Systems approaches are needed, covering the entire supply chain and backed up with life cycle assessments to ensure a positive impact by using biochar as a tool for environmental management.
This chapter provides a summary and brief introduction of the subsequent chapters of this book, with a focus on biochar for climate change mitigation, including an economic assessment of GHG abatement costs. The FOREBIOM project will be briefly introduced and results on biochar erosion after amendment of a forest floor are presented.