Like all life on earth, sheep and their wool are part of the planet’s natural carbon cycle. As the global community has become more concerned with the increase in atmospheric CO2 resulting from human interventions, the wool sector has been assessing its role in that situation and exploring ways in which it can contribute to reducing the quantity of carbon escaping into the atmosphere.

Sheep and wool are represented in the carbon cycle as biogenic carbon. This is carbon that is part of the natural cycle, being derived from living matter which has absorbed carbon through its life.

50% of the weight of clean wool is pure biogenic carbon.

In contrast, emissions from fossilised carbon lie at the heart of the global warming crisis: this is carbon that has been stored below ground and kept out of the atmosphere, until it began to be released (by burning coal, oil and gas) in ever-increasing quantities.

The good news is that farmers around the world can leverage the natural carbon cycle by influencing the amount of carbon stored in plants and soils, and through the way that they manage animals. Responsible practices can increase the level of carbon stored in pastures and soils and make a positive contribution to mitigating climate change.

Wool & The Carbon Cycle
Wool & The Carbon Cycle