Hemp May Be A Essential Device In The Struggle In opposition to Local weather Change

Scientists and industry insiders are increasingly optimistic about the potential of hemp as a tool in the fight against climate change. They say it is the most versatile natural product in the world and can accelerate efforts to avoid environmental disasters.

The natural properties of hemp and its ability to save land and water can benefit farmers when grown on a large scale. In addition, many of the products made from it can help decarbonise industries. There is also the potential for hemp to absorb significant amounts of carbon and improve soil fertility, which the world desperately needs right now.

Dr. Michael Obersteiner, director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, told Metro that there is good reason to look forward to the cannabis plant. He said:

It could prove to be a land-saving crop in the sense that if it were produced by different specialty crops, you would need more land to produce the same amount of protein, oil, and biomass. The land saving would save the expansion of arable land into forests. This will lead to significant emissions savings.

The British Hemp Alliance (BHA) says the plant can offer other environmental benefits as well. Rebekah Shaman, Executive Director and Co-Founder of BHA, said:

Hemp has a wide variety of uses including building materials, biodegradable plastics, and uses in the automotive and aerospace industries.

People who work in this sector believe that the plant has been underutilized and partially overlooked because of the stigma of marijuana, another form of the cannabis plant used as a drug. However, hemp could help create a lucrative green and sustainable economy – heralding its rapid growth and ability to aerate the soil. It is the most versatile natural product in the world and potentially replaces wood, cotton and all petroleum-based products.

Compared to cotton – which uses about 1,400 gallons of water for every pound of product – hemp uses half or less, yet produces 200-250% more fiber in the same area.

(Image credit: DWilliam from Pixabay)

But the organizers of the COP26 climate summit rejected the participation of a hemp group despite around 4,000 “expressions of interest” from various organizations. This is because experts are careful in over-emphasizing the environmental benefits of hemp as there are some doubts about how much carbon the plant can store.

Dr. UEA’s Phillip Williamson said:

A comparison of the carbon uptake with other plants is “not very meaningful” in the context of the “climate solution”. A wheat or cabbage field could absorb ten times more carbon than the neighboring forest. So what? In almost all plants, the carbon is recycled relatively quickly – through decomposition and decay processes, as a result of which the carbon is released back into the atmosphere.

Dr. However, Williamson is optimistic about hemp products like insulation and biofuels, which are making several industries greener. He added:

There are opportunities here. It could be more cost effective for manufacturers than current alternatives. In particular, the possible use of the fibers in composite building materials would provide the long-term storage (more than 50 years) necessary to take the carbon out of the cycle.

Cannabis could be a crucial tool in the fight against climate change(Photo credit: PharmaHempComplex from Pixabay)

One of the basic ways to limit global warming is through land use. Dr. Oxford University’s Obersteiner believes that hemp can be beneficial in this area. He said:

The land productivity measured in protein or oil per hectare is comparable to that of competing crops, but since hemp is also a co-producer, the additional biomass that can be used for textile production, building materials, pulp production and specialty chemicals make it an exciting harvest. The multiple use also creates an additional internal financial “insurance effect” in the sense that if the protein prices are low, a higher fiber price could compensate for this and generate a stable profit for the farmer.

The plant needs relatively few inputs such as fertilizer to be productive, and hemp seeds are a superfood that can be substituted for animal proteins. We will certainly see more and more of the various hemp products in UK food, fiber and specialty chemicals supply chains if this country takes its Net Zero commitment seriously.

Cannabis could be a crucial tool in the fight against climate change(Photo credit: Susanna Sieg from Pixabay)

But dr. Williamson warns against seeing the plant as the only solution. He called for it to be recognized as one of many instruments to combat the climate crisis. Nor is he alone, as many other climate scientists stress the need for governments to combine different tactics.