We have left it too late to prevent dangerous levels of global heating by cutting current emissions alone.
Climate scientists have concluded that limiting global warming to well below 2°C will require active efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using a combination of natural and technological processes. A special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on strategies for limiting warming to 1.5˚C finds that global carbon dioxide removal will be needed to compensate for residual GHG emissions from industries and sectors that are hard to decarbonize.
Natural climate solutions (NCS) are conservation, restoration and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. NCS has low costs compared to other climate mitigation options, as well as environmental, social and economic co-benefits such as safeguarding biodiversity, securing water supplies and providing jobs for local communities.
NCS holds enormous potential for Africa to provide solutions in pursuit of global climate mitigation roles. ADTech is focusing on the following NCS.
Alien Clearing Programme
Invasive alien plants are a significant problem in South Africa and present the following risks to the country:
Threatens water security
Poses extensive fire risks
Inhibits the growth of indigenous flora and threatens indigenous ecosystems
By taking a systemic approach that utilises technology, value-added products from biomass such as biochar, income tax and other legislative provisions and developing markets and finance around carbon and ecosystem services alien clearing has the potential to create impact at a grand scale.
ADTech is developing a model to clear millions of hectares of alien invasive trees and vegetation in Africa that will unlock significant co-benefits such as water savings, job creation and the conservation of our natural fauna and flora.
On its own or combined with alien invasive clearing projects, together with our ecology specialist partners, we determine ideal conditions and drivers for natural ecosystem restoration, how it will be measured and managed, and finally, reporting the value of the Ecosystem Services impact through FSC and other relevant certification.
To support landowners with strategic solutions, we analyse tax incentives and other financial instruments available for conserving parcels of land, and together with landowners develop strategies for functional and profitable ecosystem restoration and protection.
Tree Planting Programme
We are setting out two primary models for tree planting;
- native tree planting for ecosystem restoration and long term carbon sequestration
- afforestation or reforestation for rapid carbon sequestration with the world's fastest and we will ensure there are biodiversity pockets within these planted areas.
ADTech does not support the open burning of biomass or biochar, we support using biomass as a feedstock to create biochar that can be used as a soil amendment or for other purposes that will sink carbon.
Land use management in Agriculture
Current commercial farming methods, irrespective of the scale, have a high environmental demand and are largely dependent on external inputs leading to the depletion and degradation of natural resources and decreased soil health. As recognised in the French Government’s 4 per 1000 initiative, the soil has massive potential to store carbon. Through the investigations of soil carbon markets and technology to decrease the cost of the measurement of soil carbon, ADTech seeks to provide solutions to enable farmers to switch over to more regenerative agricultural methods. We are specifically researching models that can access carbon-based financing and rewards the utilisation of the following practices:
According to the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program, planting cover crops can promote relatively large amounts of soil carbon sequestration. The roots and shoots of cover crops feed bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other organisms, which increase soil carbon levels over time.
The benefit of growing crops such as Lucerne is that we will ensure that it flowers so that bees and other insects benefit from this crop. Having a vast area of flowering plants across a farm for an extended period of the summer will act as a haven for many insect species, thus ensuring plentiful food for our massively depleted insect population and presents the opportunity for more bee farms. Pollinators such as bees are vital to the production of our food and predatory insects such as ladybirds can consume large quantities of damaging aphids in place of insecticides.
Conservation Tillage and Other Soil Health Practices
Like cover crops, conservation tillage and no-till agriculture reduce soil disturbance, build organic matter in soils, and, as a result, build soil carbon over time. These practices can improve soil productivity over time, though it may take three to five years before producers reap the rewards.