In this webinar, IGI Executive Director Brad Ringeisen, Ph.D., and Public Impact Director Melinda Kliegman Ph.D., discuss how the IGI is leveraging genome editing technology to develop plant and microbial approaches to reduce agriculture emissions and accelerate biological carbon capture.
This effort, part of the next generation of climate change research at the IGI, aims to develop accessible, scalable technologies to mitigate climate change. Agriculture currently accounts for nearly a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions — and stands as one of the sectors without viable solutions to reduce those emissions. A major source of these agricultural emissions comes from farmland plants and microbes, which can release greenhouse gases back to the environment.
“We’ve been steadily depleting the carbon reserves in those soils, which hurts everyone. It hurts the environment. It hurts the farmer. We believe we can restore those levels. We can enhance crop yields with accessible and affordable climate-friendly strategies,” said Ringeisen.
The IGI’s climate change work has mostly focused on using CRISPR to help crops adapt to climate change. Now, a gift of $3 million from an anonymous donor will kick off four new projects at the IGI which will utilize genome editing and living organisms to achieve a net-zero farm.
“We believe that gene editing and these organisms can be used to be able to manipulate those organisms, to be able to soak up more carbon, to be able to direct the flow of carbon, deeper into the soil, deeper into environments, to be able to store that carbon safely,” Ringeisen said. “Not just safely, but actually to the benefit of farmers and to the benefit of the environment.”
The discussion also covers ethical, equitable, and public perception concerns that come with genome editing advancements.
Watch the full 1-hour webinar below, or check out more videos from the American University Assessing Carbon Removal webinar series here.
Brad Ringeisen, Ph.D. | Executive Director, Innovative Genomics Institute
Melinda Kliegman, Ph.D. | Public Impact Director, Innovative Genomics Institute
Dr. Wil Burns | Co-Director, Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University
CRISPR Crops: How Scientists are Using Genome Editing to Sequester Carbon
Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy | August 3, 2021