Federal government sees potential for enrichment of carbon in soil


Bern – The federal government wants to prevent the loss of organic substances in soils such as peatlands and increase the proportion of organic substances in agricultural soils. Soils can thus contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The Federal Council has had the potential of Swiss soils for the long-term storage of carbon analyzed. In doing so, he fulfilled a postulate of National Councilor Jacques Bourgeois (FDP/FR). The Federal Council has now adopted the corresponding report. It shows “that optimal soil organic carbon content curbs CO2 emissions, improves soil quality, promotes biodiversity, protects the climate and contributes to food production,” the Federal Council writes in a related statement.

Studies evaluated for the report indicate that carbon levels in many agricultural lands are below optimum. Here, the Federal Council sees a concrete potential for enrichment. To this end, it proposes, among other things, measures to optimize agricultural practices in terms of maintaining or increasing the content of organic matter in mineral soils. However, the use of vegetable carbon in soils should not be encouraged. Here, the long-term effects would have to be examined beforehand, the Federal Council explains.

In addition, the Federal Council plans to anchor the preservation of organic matter in soils in the Ordinance on Soil Pollution. This should also serve to prevent the loss of organic matter in organic soils such as bogs. hs