Review Charnet Biochar Conference 2023

On Friday, 16 June, more than 160 experts and enthusiasts gathered in Brugg-Windisch for the 2023 Biochar Conference, organised by Charnet.

The event, whose main topic was biochar and its use on Swiss soils, provided a good opportunity to hear interesting presentations from experts and pioneers in the field, to socialise and, above all, to learn about the latest developments in the sector. 

The event started with an official welcome and introduction by Trimurti Irzan, President of Charnet and Josef Burri, Head of Strategy and Planning of the Department of Agriculture of the Canton Aargau. 

The first session of the day, which consisted of four parts, focused on the "quality and regulation" of biochar and was moderated by Ueli Steiner, Managing director of Carbon Standards International (CSI). In the first presentation, Julia Winter, COO Biochar at CSI, spoke about the status and perspectives of the EBC guidelines. Barbara Mettler from First Climate then presented the topic "CO₂ sink certificates: markets, verification and creditability". The last presentation before the break was given by Nikolas Hagemann from Agroscope, who had stepped in for Thomas Bucheli, who was unable to attend at short notice. He spoke on the topic of "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in biochar: previously unknown - today well known". 

The second part of the day with the topic "Do Swiss soils need biochar?" was moderated by Stephan Gutzwiller. The second session was opened by Lucie Greiner, Soil Competence Centre (KOBO), HAFL, Bern University of Applied Sciences. She presented the topic "Ecosystem services of soil in times of climate change". This was followed by Dr Nikolas Hagemann from Agroscope with the topic "Future challenges for soils and the contribution of biochar to overcoming them". The last lecture before the panel discussion was given by Dr Gudrun Schwilch, Head of the Soil Section, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), with the topic " Introduction of biochar into Swiss soils - opportunities and potential hazards". The last act of the morning, just before the lunch break, was the panel discussion, where the moderator and the audience could ask questions to the speakers. 

In the first part of the afternoon, the audience was divided into four groups that participated in parallel sessions discussing biochar from different perspectives and on how it can be used in different sectors such as construction, agriculture, horticulture, and urban greening. A fourth parallel session was dedicated to the topic of construction and operation of production facilities. 

The final session of the Biochar Conference focused on "The Role of Biochar for Net Zero" and was moderated by Barbara Mettler. Dr Leonor Gondim Rodrigues, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) opened the last part with the topic "Contribution of biochar and other negative emission technologies to net zero". Then it was the turn of Andreas Keel, Holzenergie Schweiz. Andreas Keel spoke about "Swiss energy wood potential: Is it still enough for biochar?". The last lecture of the day was given by Dr Hans-Martin Krause, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL) on the subject "Influence of biochar on N₂O and CH₄ emissions in agriculture". 

Charnet President Trimurti Irzan took the floor at the end of the day and closed the conference with her thanks. 

As gold sponsors and co-organisers, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants, speakers, moderators and Charnet for making this great event possible. We are already looking forward to the next event on the topic of biochar. 

The presentations and posters of the Biochar Conference are available for download on the Charnet website:

Link to website

Carbon Standards International AG - 22 June