This article looks into Bamboo as a climate change solution. It is based on the analysis of Project Drawdown, which was a 2017 initiative to map the top 100 most effective climate change solutions.
In my series earlier in the year, I looked into each of the top 20 in turn. You can find a link to this series below.
Bamboo was not ranked high enough to make it into the top 20, but it was still ranked at a respectable 35.
The authors behind the Drawdown section on bamboo open with the following statement:
“Bamboo rapidly sequesters carbon in biomass and soil, taking it out of the air faster than almost any other plant, and can thrive on inhospitable degraded lands.”
Let’s look into the numbers that allowed bamboo to be ranked as the 35th most effective climate change solution by Project Drawdown. Their research showed that bamboo could reduce CO2 emissions by 7.22 gigatons, for a net cost of $23.8 billion, but produce $234.8 billion in net savings. This makes it a powerful climate change solution that should not be overlooked.
The authors point towards the properties that make bamboo a special resource:
“Just a grass, bamboo has the compressive strength of concrete and the tensile strength of steel.”
Bamboo can become an invasive species if released into the wrong areas. The authors point towards this as well as its many positive features in their closing statement:
“By focussing on commercial se on degraded lands, especially those with steep slopes or significant erosion, it is possible to maximise the positive impacts of bamboo – useful products, carbon sequestration and avoided emissions from alternative materials – while minimising the negatives.”
What you need to know
This article looked into bamboo as a climate change solution.
In 2017 Project Drawdown ranked bamboo as the 35th most effective solution to reverse global warming.
Bamboo is a resource that grows quickly and is an excellent storer of carbon.It is also strong and stiff, making it ideal for multiple uses in construction where it can displace non-renewable and high-carbon resources that are currently used.
It does present challenges with its invasiveness, but these can be overcome. The positives vastly outweigh the negatives and the future looks bright for this resource.
Thank you for reading,
By Barnaby Nash
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to raise the profile of this sustainable resource?
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