Development of Carbon Markets in Agriculture and Forestry Have Potential to Address Climate Change, Save Landowners Money

Carbon sequestration through agriculture could potentially take the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of cars off the road and provide farmers with a new revenue stream worth billions of dollars.

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The continued development of carbon markets in agriculture and forestry can play an important role in addressing climate change

Ann Arbor, MI (Vocus) September 7, 2010

Carbon sequestration through agriculture could provide farmers and forest owners with a new revenue stream worth billions of dollars, concluded the National Wildlife Federation and the Soil and Water Conservation Society after a July 21, 2010 workshop titled Carbon Markets: Expanding Opportunities/Valuing Co-Benefits. The one-day workshop, held at the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO, brought together experts in agriculture and forestry to discuss how land management activities can help to address climate change by storing more carbon and reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses. The workshop particularly focused on innovative new practices that can have positive climate benefits, as well as the many co-benefits to soil, water and wildlife of these practices.

“The continued development of carbon markets in agriculture and forestry can play an important role in addressing climate change,” said Jim Gulliford, Executive Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. “While many farmers are already practicing reduced tillage agriculture, which helps increase soil carbon, there are many other steps they can take to store even greater quantities of carbon, such as planting winter cover crops. The science surrounding these practices and their potential to help address climate change is growing rapidly.”

“What is exciting is that while farmers and forest owners are increasing their carbon storage, or reducing their production of greenhouse gasses, they can also be saving money, improving soil fertility, improving water quality, and providing wildlife habitat,” said Ryan Stockwell, Agriculture Program Manager of the National Wildlife Federation. “Perhaps most importantly, a market for carbon storage could offer a new revenue stream to farmers who are willing to adopt these new practices.”

Carbon sequestration through agriculture could potentially take the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of cars off the road. These projects could provide farmers with a new revenue stream worth billions of dollars. That revenue stream could pay farmers to build soil and achieve the co-benefits to water, wildlife and the local communities discussed at the workshop. This win-win-win effort, however, will require that carbon payments or a carbon market be wisely and carefully constructed. The July event with experts and people experienced in carbon markets is the beginning of this work.

The proceedings and presentations from the conference can be found at: http://www.swcs.org/carbonworkshop

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