This new climate change solution could be tested on Whatcom, Skagit farms

A new tool to fight climate change is coming to rural Whatcom and Skagit counties. But the planet isn’t the only one that stands to benefit — farmers could see healthier soil and more productive fields.

The Whatcom-based organization Kulshan Carbon Trust is launching a pilot program in the coming months to experiment with a type of charcoal called biochar. When this substance is spread on the land, it has been shown to suck planet-warming greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere while boosting crop yield and tree growth.

The Trust is hoping that Whatcom and Skagit farmers can eventually get paid to generate “carbon credits” by applying biochar to their fields, much as they apply fertilizer.

“There is something very disconnected about companies, municipalities and individuals buying carbon credits for projects around the world — somewhere you’ve never been and don’t know of,” said Jessa Clark, a Trust co-founder and sustainability expert who graduated from Stanford University.

The other co-founders are Steve Hollenhorst, former dean of Western Washington University’s College of the Environment, and Howard Sharfstein, a former corporate sustainability leader and retired environmental attorney.


Monday, January 31, 2022