Fighting climate change with bamboo

(China Dialogue, 29 Oct 2020) Bamboo is a surprisingly effective carbon sink and is being promoted by the government as a uniquely Chinese solution to climate change.

They are synonymous with the giant panda, and a ubiquitous part of life and culture across much of the south. China’s bamboo forests – all 6.8 million hectares of them – could also play an outsized role in the country’s plans to check climate change.

Fast-growing, versatile and able to thrive on sloping, degraded soils, giant bamboos have long been considered a valuable source of income – sometimes called “poor man’s timber” – as well as an important tool for stabilising slopes and preventing soil erosion.

More recently, bamboo has gained attention alongside tree-planting for its potential role in removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which would contribute to keeping global warming below 1.5C.

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China Dialogue, 29 Oct 2020: Fighting climate change with bamboo