Standardizing Carbon Offsets from Agriculture
Sustainable Conservation is committed to developing standards that will foster high-quality carbon offsets for beneficial farming practices so the marketplace can work effectively.
Offsets currently recognized include:
- Methane captured from livestock operations to produce energy;
- Cover crops or tillage practices used to build up soil carbon (organic matter) levels;
- Using biofuels to displace fossil fuels.
We are striving for standards that ensure that the emission reductions are:
- Real: Actual emission reductions and not artifacts of incomplete accounting;
- Surplus: A response to a buyer's promise to purchase them, not reductions that would have happened anyway;
- Verifiable: From projects whose performance can be readily monitored and verified;
- Permanent: Permanent and/or backed by guarantees to ensure longevity; and
- Enforceable: Backed by contracts or legal instruments that define their creation, provide for transparency and ensure exclusive ownership.
Examples of Agricultural Offset Trading
Already several types of agricultural carbon offsets have been brought to market. San Francisco-based utility PG&E has purchased offsets from methane digesters on California dairy farms, as part of their "Climate Smart" program. And, Joseph Gallo Farms has sold offsets based on the methane digester at their dairy in California's Central Valley.
> More about carbon offset and carbon credit trading programs.