invezz.com: Agriculture Is Moving Up the Durban Agenda

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Agriculture will be one of the most important topics of discussion at the upcoming climate conference in Durban, South Africa, claims UK-based carbon credit information portal (http://www.invezz.com/).

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The CFI, which is expected to become operational in December 2011, will allow Australian farmers and foresters to participate in the carbon credit market, by using government approved methodologies for generating carbon offsets.

The Johannesburg communiqué from the African Ministerial Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture called upon the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to establish an agriculture Programme of Work that covers adaptation and mitigation. According to invezz.com, an investment portal, operated by green investments media Dezz, the future of sustainable agriculture, especially in developing countries, will depend largely on the outcome of the Durban talks, which are scheduled to start later in November.

The importance of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector has been generally recognised in the Kyoto Protocol. However, carbon-investments.co.uk comments on the limitations of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) with regards to carbon credit generation from projects in the agricultural sector. CDM is one of the major tools enabling developing countries to receive financial aid for sustainable development from industrialised countries that need to meet a part of their emissions reduction targets. Therefore, the insufficient inclusion of agriculture into the CDM reduces the opportunities for climate mitigation action in this sector.

Carbon-investments.co.uk provides an overview of the attempts of the international community to include carbon offsets from the agricultural sector in the carbon credit market, and in particular, for carbon sequestration in soil. As estimated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its paper on “climate-smart” agriculture, soil carbon sequestration represents 89% of agriculture’s mitigation potential and therefore, international efforts should concentrate on the possibilities to make better use of this potential. This has been partly done with the FAO’s concept of “climate-smart” agriculture, whose essence invezz.com explains. However, in order to be able to successfully implement climate-smart agriculture practices, developing countries would need to significantly transform their agricultural sectors, which in turn would require increased financing.

invezz.com also looks into the FAO’s newly developed Methodology for Sustainable Grassland Management as a way to overcome the main obstacle for attracting investments for soil carbon sequestration projects through the mechanisms of the carbon credit market. Even though the methodology is currently awaiting approval from the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), it has the potential to facilitate the participation of agricultural projects on the voluntary carbon market.

invezz.com also reviews the approach of developed nations toward agricultural emissions reduction, and namely the Australian Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), which is the world’s first national scheme regulating the generation of carbon offsets from agriculture and forestry. The CFI, which is expected to become operational in December 2011, will allow Australian farmers and foresters to participate in the carbon credit market, by using government approved methodologies for generating carbon offsets. In addition, invezz.com comments on the European Union’s position on carbon emissions reduction from the agricultural investments.

Despite the seemingly favourable international situation, however, the future of climate-smart agriculture is still uncertain. invezz.com discusses the challenges of the inclusion of carbon offsets from soil carbon sequestration projects in the compliance carbon market. Furthermore, invezz.com comments on the absence of clarity regarding the outcome of the Durban talks, as well as on the determination of the developing countries to pursue a global solution for the agricultural sector at the upcoming climate change conference in South Africa.    

To read the full article, visit http://invezz.com/analysis/alternative-investments/what-are-carbon-credits-and-why-they-are-not-a-retail-investment-product.

About Dezz
Dezz is a UK-based boutique digital media company providing original and reliable up-to-date information in the area of carbon credit trading and sustainable investments to large investment company decision makers, NGOs and to eco-minded individuals.Dezz Limited, 843 Finchley Road, London, NW11 8NA. Registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company. Company Number: 07376661

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John Adam
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