Former US vice-president Al Gore has backed Scotland’s expertise in combating climate change.
During a visit to Edinburgh, Mr Gore congratulated Scotland for the lead it has taken on renewable energy.
He praised Scottish research into biochar, which is led by the University’s UK Biochar Research Centre, as a key method of locking carbon into soil.
Biochar is a charcoal-like substance produced through oxygen-free, slow heating of agricultural waste.
When added to soil it helps retain nutrients and water.
Mr Gore applauded Scottish research on soil recovery through heat treatment.
The Nobel laureate and environmental campaigner was guest speaker at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference in Edinburgh.
Mr Gore said Scotland had provided inspiring leadership and was exploiting wind as one of the greatest resources anywhere on the planet, through onshore and offshore technology.
He told the audience that wind and wave technology had great potential and with the backing of business and political leaders, could help create a bright future.
The UK Biochar Centre’s research could lead to 10% of annual Scottish and global carbon emissions being uses these to replenish depleted agricultural soils.
This would improve crop fertility and yield whilst helping to reduce the drive towards climate change and ocean acidification.
The Centre was created with funding from the EPSRC Science and Innovation Award, the School of GeoSciences the College of Science and Engineering, and private donors.
It has gained over £1 million in new grants since its inception.
This article was published on Oct 4, 2011