The ‘biochar’ initiative fails to address the root causes of climate change: Fossil fuel burning and ecosystem destruction, including deforestation and the destruction of healthy soils through industrial agriculture. Small-scale agro-ecological farming and protection of natural ecosystem are effective ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change. These proven alternatives should be fully supported, not risky, unfounded technologies promoted by vested commercial interests. Indigenous and peasant communities have developed many diverse means of caring for soils and biodiversity, and living sustainably. Those locally and culturally adapted methods depend on regional climate, soils, crops and biodiversity. Attempts to commodify soils and impose a “one-size-fits all” approach to soils and farming risks appropriating, undermining and destroying this knowledge and diversity just when it is most critically needed.