Increasing the storage of carbon in the soil has been a controversial strategy for addressing climate change mitigation. What is the potential and why is there debate about this? How can we push beyond the debate to constructive action? Lini Wollenberg, a Gund Fellow, is an anthropologist and natural resource management specialist concerned with rural livelihoods and the environment. She currently leads a research program on Low Emissions Agricultural Development for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), based at the University of Vermont. Her work seeks to identify options for reducing the impacts of agricultural development and land use on the climate, while also improving livelihoods for the poor in developing countries.