Professor Reto Gieré and Catherine Nabukalu (Penn MES alumna) have recently published “Charcoal as a global commodity: Is it sustainable?” as the 30th Edition of the United Nations Environment Program Foresight Briefs.
“Charcoal is typically made from trees, is perceived to be a renewable resource, and is used in both low- and middle-income countries as well as high-income countries. There is a difference, however, between “renewable” charcoal that is primarily produced through the farming of trees, and “non-renewable” charcoal, produced through deforestation. Even so-called “renewable” charcoal has a detrimental effect on the environment through the use of monoculture, which compromises biodiversity. Alternative raw materials, such as agricultural and other organic waste (sawdust, nutshells, wheat straw etc.), should therefore be used more widely to produce charcoal.”
Read the full publication here: “Charcoal as a global commodity: Is it sustainable?”