Farmers who have already made the agricultural transition to more regenerative, climate-friendly farming practices are playing a key role in reducing the effect of climate change by delivering climate mitigation services.
To ensure more farmers make this transition, especially in view of the current uncertain economic and political climate, they need to be financially rewarded.
Farmers must see that there will be new revenue streams available to them as they begin their regenerative farming journey, and importantly, that these revenue streams will be ongoing as the results of their efforts continue to be quantified.
One way in which farmers are already being financially rewarded for the delivery of climate mitigation services as a result of regenerative farming is from carbon farming and the sale of carbon certificates.
AgreenaCarbon, Europe’s largest soil carbon platform, with more than 1m hectares registered with the programme, has already paid farmers more than €6 million.
UK farmers who joined the programme in time for the 2022 harvest earned €36 per carbon certificate and, many more are about to benefit from harvest 2023.
Farmers who join AgreenaCarbon agree to undertake a range of regenerative carbon farming practices, such as reduced soil disturbance i.e. min-till or no-till, the addition of organic matter and the inclusion of cover crops.
These practices result in the reduction of greenhouse gases and the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere turning the farm’s soil into carbon sinks, enabling farmers to deliver climate mitigation services.
Agreena’s internationally accredited and third-party validated AgreenaCarbon programme quantifies the farm’s greenhouse gas reductions and carbon removals, and issues verified carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) certificates.
Each carbon certificate is equivalent to 1t of CO2e. On average 1ha can generate between one and two carbon certificates.
Agreena’s carbon certificates follow an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)-aligned rigorous scientific methodology, and the world’s leading certification standards for ensuring carbon is removed.
In addition, Agreena’s leading remote sensing Measurement, Reporting Verification (MRV) technology allows the continuous monitoring, verification and reporting of on-farm practices and outcomes.
Farmers can keep their carbon certificates, trade them on the voluntary carbon market (VCM), or let Agreena sell them on their behalf.
An early pay-out option is also available for farmers, with funding provided by Agreena before certificates are issued.
By leveraging the VCM to convert climate-friendly farming efforts into high-quality carbon certificates, farmers are rewarded for delivering climate mitigation services with a new revenue stream.
Farmers, driven perhaps by the reduction and eventual phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), are recognising the increasing value of this additional income from the trading of carbon certificates.
20% of the year-on-year hectare growth in Agreena’s portfolio came from member farmers adding more land to the programme and therefore delivering increased climate mitigation services.
The ability to deliver climate mitigation services provides farmers with a huge opportunity to raise their profile and change the sometimes negative way in which they are viewed.
Farmers need to work together to raise recognition of the fact that not only do they provide the food that fills our plates and on which we depend to live – while fulfilling that role using regenerative and carbon farming practices – they now play a leading role in helping to prevent climate change.
What is key is there must be a realisation that they need to be fairly rewarded for making the transition to more climate-friendly methods.
It is estimated that at least 50% of the carbon in the earth’s soils has been released into the atmosphere over the past centuries.
Bringing that carbon back home through regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest opportunities to address human and climate health, along with the financial wellbeing of farmers. [Source: Project Drawdown]
Proof, if it was needed, of the importance farmers can play in the delivery of climate mitigation services and the extremely powerful seat they should have at the climate change table.
Talk to Agreena if you would like to learn more about carbon farming and how you can join other farmers in delivering all important climate mitigation services.
For more info visit the Agreena website or email: [email protected].