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Prince Charles joins clean soil project to combat climate change - 28th October

Charles

Prince Charles urged governments, individuals and businesses to take greater care of the world’s soils as part of an initiative aimed at keeping carbon locked in soil, rather than escaping into the atmosphere and causing global warming.

The “4 per 1000” project is a pledge to reduce the amount of carbon leaked from soils by 0.4% a year, which would be enough to halt the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the air. Nearly 180 countries have signed up to the initiative that was set up by the French government as part of its efforts to make the Paris agreement on climate change, signed last year, a success.

At a ceremony this week to celebrate the initiative, the prince said that the preservation of farmland, forests and soils were of “absolutely critical importance - for, in my experience, the fertility and health of the soil is at the heart of everything”. Drawing on his own work as an organic farmer, he contrasted organic methods with the “previously conventional” farming systems which he called “toxic”.

The prince said this project could “make a remarkable contribution to the wellbeing, livelihoods, food security and resilience of farmers, to the health of the planet and to addressing climate change”.

He said: “It is clear that doing the right thing by our soils, our forests and our peatlands would make a remarkable contribution to the fulfilment of the Paris agreement.”

But he challenged governments and businesses to espouse the goals: “At the end of the day, will we be able to take the necessary urgent steps - or will there be the usual procrastination, argument and denial that have so bedevilled any meaningful progress in addressing ever more dangerous climate change?

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