The objective of our work is to bring clarity, consistency and integrity to the UK farm soil carbon marketplace through research, stakeholder engagement and the development of critical pieces of market infrastructure, including the following:
Developing and maintaining a set of minimum requirements that can be used to appraise existing soil carbon codes, standards and schemes according to a set of criteria – the rigour of their measurement, permanence, additionality, leakage etc.
A Route map to an open access, community code that will be aligned with the minimum requirements that can be used by new entrants and small-scale projects that are not served by the existing codes and/or marketplace because of technical challenges/high up-front cost.
Identifying and addressing additional barriers to the widescale adoption of farm soil carbon projects – extraneous overheads, regulatory or policy challenges, the lack of reliable guidance and advice or even confusion and misconceptions about the size and viability of the industry.
Our work will address all the ‘principles’ needed to ensure that the soil carbon market-place delivers for farmers, investors and the environment. This will reflect obligations for both the sequestered carbon, and the marketplace in general.
Sequestered carbon must be scientifically measurable according to robust, high-integrity methodologies
Paid for activities must be over and above what would have occurred under business-as-usual conditions
Regenerative practices must be maintained to ensure that any sequestered carbon is retained in the soil over an agreed period of time
The approach used, and the changes in carbon stocks claimed must be verified by a trusted, third party organization
Rules need to be established to avoid double-counting - separate market players claiming the same carbon increase
A UK Soil Carbon market-place must not lead to CO2 or GHG increases elsewhere or have a negative impact upon food production
The market-place must be deliver carbon sequestration at sufficient scale to generate value for money and low overheads for farmers and investors
Projects should not reward historic or deliberate soil carbon loss or land managers who are not making adequate carbon reductions efforts elsewhere
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