Funding Climate-friendly Soil Use in the EU
Challenges and risks of market-based approaches
The Funding climate-friendly soil use in the EU: Challenges and risks of market-based approaches workshop gathered 59 stakeholders and other experts to discuss how to best promote climate-friendly soil use. In addition to providing an overview of climate-friendly soil actions, it focussed on results-based approaches to funding climate-friendly soil actions and their key challenges. Ecologic Institute organised, hosted and moderated the workshop, as well as presenting work. A summary is available to download.
The growing interest in market-based approaches to promote climate-friendly soil use – exemplified by the EU Commission's Carbon Removal Certification Framework – has the potential to deliver mitigation. However, there are real concerns about the suitability and risks of these approaches. The workshop discussed these challenges in depth. This included identifying key issues, critically assessing proposed solutions, and discussing minimum requirements to ensure environmental integrity – even where those requirements de facto limit or even exclude the applicability of market-based approaches. An overarching theme was whether, to what extent, and under what conditions results-based approaches (including offsetting) should be used to promote climate-friendly soil actions.
- Climate-friendly soil use poses a number of challenges for market-based funding, including additionality, non-permanence, quantification, and sustainability.
- The workshop concluded that challenges, especially non-additionality and challenge of regulatory additionality as well as non-permanence, mean that offsets are inappropriate for climate-friendly soil use. Other results-based approaches (e.g. contribution claims) face some technical and demand challenges but lower environmental integrity risks than offsets.
- Overall, workshop discussions supported a broader perspective: our focus must be on what combination of policies and instruments will help to achieve the overarching objective of transitioning the land-use and agriculture sector to sustainability – measured not just in climate mitigation but also biodiversity conservation and sustainable farmer incomes.