Report on the relationship between soil and climate change (CLIMSOIL)

The crucial role that soils can play in mitigating climate change


The Report and a press release are available at:

The report, a synthesis of the best available information on the links between soil and climate change, underlines the need to sequester carbon in soils. The technique is cost competitive and immediately available, requires no new or unproven technologies, and has a mitigation potential comparable to that of any other sector of the economy.

Soils contain around twice the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and three times the amount to be found in vegetation. Europe's soils are an enormous carbon reservoir, containing around 75 billion tonnes, and poor management can have serious consequences: a failure to protect Europe's remaining peat bogs, for example, would release the same amount of carbon as an additional 40 million cars on Europe's roads.

In line with the Thematic Strategy for soil protection, the current trend of soil degradation needs to be reversed, and soil management practices must be improved if a high rate of soil carbon sequestration is to be achieved. However, the analysis was hampered by a serious lack of EU-wide data on soil carbon and soil carbon trends, adding some uncertainty to carbon stock and carbon trends conclusions. The researchers therefore underline the urgent need to improve monitoring of soil carbon stock and trends to ensure that soils play a more prominent role in a future climate change mitigation agreement.

  versione in italiano