1 August 2013 Last updated at 10:45 ET
By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News
Jatropha seeds can be used to produce biofuel but the plant itself can absorb large amounts of CO2
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Scientists say that planting large numbers of jatropha trees in desert areas could be an effective way of curbing emissions of CO2.
Dubbed “carbon farming”, researchers say the idea is economically competitive with high-tech carbon capture and storage projects.
But critics say the idea could be have unforeseen, negative impacts including driving up food prices.
The research has been published in the journal Earth System Dynamics.
Seeds of change
Jatropha curcas is a plant that originated in Central America and is very well adapted to harsh conditions including extremely arid deserts.
It is already grown as a biofuel in some parts of the world because its seeds can produce oil.
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