On World Soil Day, OCA, IFOAM Laud French Government’s Initiative to Address Climate Change via Carbon Sequestration in Organic Soil


December 5, 2015

CONTACT:  Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207-653-3090, katherine@organicconsumers.org

On World Soil Day, OCA, IFOAM Laud French Government’s Initiative to Address Climate Change via Carbon Sequestration in Organic Soil

December 5 marks end of International Year of the Soils, beginning of work to replace degenerative industrial ag with organic regenerative strategies that can reverse global warming

PARIS – As the International Year of the Soils officially ended on December 5, World Soil Day, Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and IFOAM Organics International (IFOAM) praised the French Government’s 4 per 1000 Initiative as the most important climate strategy to come out of the COP21 Paris Climate Talks.

“This is the most exciting news to come out of COP21,” said Andre Leu, president of IFOAM Organics International. “By launching this Initiative, the French Government has validated the work of scientists and farmers and ranchers who have demonstrated the power of organic regenerative agriculture to restore the soil’s natural ability to draw down and sequester carbon.

“It is imperative that world the decarbonizes the atmosphere from 400 ppm to far less than 350 ppm to stop catastrophic climate change. The combination of renewable energy to stop further emissions and drawing down excess CO2 into the soil is most achievable way to do this and it is readily available to us now.”

“What better way to celebrate World Soil Day than to recognize that healthy soil is our most available, most promising solution to global warming,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director. “As we celebrate this important Initiative and also mark the end of the International Year of the Soils, we look forward to what is arguably the most important work our organizations and our governments face—reversing global warming before it’s too late.”

OCA and IFOAM Organics International are among the 100 partners who were signed on at the launch of the “4 per 1000” Initiative. Partners include developed and developing states, international organizations, private foundations, international funds, NGOs and farmers’ organizations.

The partners have agreed to reinforce their actions on appropriate soil management, recognizing the importance of soil health for the transition towards productive, highly resilient agriculture.

The “4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate” aims to protect and increase carbon stocks in soils.  According to the French Agriculture Ministry, a 0.4-percent annual growth rate in soil carbon content would make it possible to stop the present increase in atmospheric CO2 and achieve the long-term objective of limiting the average global temperature increase to the 1.5°C to 2°C threshold beyond which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says would lead to a climate disaster.

The initiative consists of a voluntary action plan under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), backed by an ambitious research program.

The United Nations officially declared 2015 the International Year of the Soils, beginning on December 5, 2014, and ending on World Soil Day, December 5, 2015. The official closure took place at FAO headquarters on December 4.

IFOAM – Organics International is the worldwide umbrella organization for the organic agriculture movement, which represents close to 800 member organizations  in about 125 countries.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)(3) public interest organization representing 2 million U.S. consumers campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.