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Bamboo Would Save At Least 7.22 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

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Increased cultivation and use of Bamboo places #35 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 7.22 gigatons of carbon dioxide. It would cost US$23.8 billion, but savings of $264.8 billion by 2050.

Drawdown reports that bamboo is positioned to become one of the superheroes of carbon sequestration. It’s the fastest-growing plant in the world, and able to thrive in the most marginal of circumstances—it’s actually highly invasive and must be cultivated with care to avoid damage to native ecosystems. And bamboo sequesters carbon in both biomass and soil at very high rates: “Some species, in the right environment, are capable of sequestering 75 to 300 tons of carbon per acre over a lifetime.”

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And bamboo matures quickly, can be harvested for pulp after one growing season, and is ideal for an extraordinary range of applications within four to eight years. As people in Asia have known for thousands of years, bamboo is a supremely useful plant. With the “compressive strength of concrete and the tensile strength of steel,” it is no less a superhero of construction, usable at every stage in the building process, in everything from bicycles to biofuels, paper to plumbing, animal feed to fabric.

Whether it’s in the ground, in use, or on the slash pile, bamboo holds tight to its carbon, Drawdown states. Its tissues contain tiny silica structures called phytoliths, whose mineral composition resists degradation far longer than organic compounds, hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years.

Drawdown’s calculation of 7.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide sequestered by 2050 (should an additional 37 million acres of bamboo be planted on degraded or abandoned land, for a total of 114 million acres world-wide) does not include the emissions avoided when bamboo is substituted for such high-emissions materials as concrete, steel, plastics, and cotton.

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2 Comments To "Bamboo Would Save At Least 7.22 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050"

#1 Pingback By Bamboo Would Save At Least 7.22 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050 – Enjeux énergies et environnement On December 31, 2019 @ 1:43 PM

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#2 Comment By Samphe Lhalungpa On January 2, 2020 @ 9:59 AM

In 2005, when I worked with UNICEF in India, we were requested to support the building of a school to house some 1 200 kids and all this with a deadline of 8 months!! A colleague in the state ( Chattisgarh) connected with the National Bamboo Mission and sourced what was then called manufactured bamboo in Tamilnadue state. These plywood sized, precut boards with door and windows already cut out, were rot resistant, moisture resistant, easy to use. The building was framed with an iron skeleton on a cement base, viola a good school built in 16 weeks. Drop down false ceilings were possible due to the iron beams and frame..it was also earthquake resistant. Alas, I was not successful after the Nepal Earthquake in mobilizing the materials or companies..Pity.