What is the potential for hemp to be used as a tool in the fight against climate change?
Hemp is part of the discussion for a long time on topics around sustainability. For example, EIHA promoted it as a sustainable source. This fast-growing plant is believed to be twice as effective as trees at absorbing and locking up carbon and thus, hemp has potential to fight against climate change.
Hemp is a plant that can be used for a variety of purposes. These include a source of food, fiber, and fuel. It has a number of environmental benefits, such as ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in its biomass and soil. More about its characteristics can be found HERE. In addition to sequestering carbon, hemp can also be used to replace carbon-intensive product. Such as concrete and plastics, which could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We wrote about hempcrete in this article. Some experts claim that the cultivation of hemp could play a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change. This refers to a situation when it is used in combination with other sustainable practices like regenerative agriculture and agroforestry.
However, there are also challenges to scaling up hemp production, including regulatory barriers, a lack of infrastructure, and the need for more research to understand the plant’s potential and how best to use it. Moreover, as we mentioned HERE hemp plants can have a bad impact on the environment, if managed inappropriately.
How does Europe deal with introducing hemp as a sustainable source?
In Europe, the use of hemp as a sustainable source is regulated by the European Union (EU) and individual member states. Hemp is legal to grow in the EU, but it is subject to strict regulations. The cultivation of hemp is only allowed if the variety being grown is listed in the EU’s Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species, and the THC content of the plant does not exceed 0.2%.
The EU has also established rules for the production and marketing of hemp products, including food, cosmetics, and industrial products. These rules ensure that hemp products meet certain standards for safety and quality. In some EU member states, hemp is also being used to produce bio-based products, such as bioplastics and construction materials. The European Commission has identified the development of bio-based products as a priority area for the EU. The EC is supporting research and innovation in this field.
What is more, some countries, such as France and Italy, have a long history of growing hemp and have established supply chains for the production of hemp products. Other countries are still in the process of developing their hemp industries. There are also efforts to promote sustainable practices in the cultivation of hemp. For example, the European Industrial Hemp Association has developed a “Cannabis Environmental Care Code” to guide farmers in sustainable hemp production.
Of course hemp is not a silver bullet solution to climate change. However, it can be an important tool in a long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a more sustainable economy. In overall, Europe is taking a cautious but supportive approach to introducing hemp as a sustainable source. Europe focuses on ensuring that the plant is grown and used in a safe and sustainable manner.