Fertiliser use and soil carbon sequestration: trade-offs and opportunities

Current initiatives to store carbon in soils as a measure to mitigate climate change are gaining momentum. Agriculture plays an important role in soil carbon initiatives, as almost 40% of the world’s soils are currently used as cropland and grassland. Thus, a major research and policy question is how different agricultural management practices affect soil carbon sequestration. This working paper focuses on the impact of mineral fertiliser use on soil carbon sequestration, including synergies with the use of organic inputs (for example crop residues, animal manure) and trade-offs with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.