Carbon farming holds great promise as a business model that rewards land managers for implementing practices that contribute to mitigating climate change. Actions that increase soil carbon sequestration and storage offer mitigation potential while posing a number of practical challenges, such as measurement uncertainty and non-permanence.
The CREDIBLE project aims to support the development of credible soil carbon farming in the EU. This goal will be predominantly realised by creating and facilitating a network of initiatives, projects, and stakeholders focussed on questions of carbon farming data, environmental integrity, and the monitoring, reporting and verification of soil carbon mitigation. The project will support EU policy discussions on carbon removal certification.
As a starting point, CREDIBLE recognises that ensuring the integrity of soil carbon actions requires a comprehensive understanding of soils. They function not only as carbon sinks but also as crucial ecosystems, providing valuable services such as food provision, energy, water purification, nutrient regulation, while supporting biodiversity and bioactive compounds reservoirs. Before developing carbon farming as a business, there is a need for standardised, scientifically sound approaches to monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of carbon sequestration gains or losses and secure rules to ensure that mitigation is long-lasting. Current carbon farming methodologies (e.g., in the voluntary carbon market) are insufficient to ensure high quality mitigation, undermining carbon farming as a business and a mitigation policy.
To better understand these issues, the CREDIBLE project will:
- Build and coordinate a network of key stakeholders drawn from European research institutions, carbon farming solution providers, land managers, farmers, advisors, and others with expertise in soil carbon sequestration.
- Develop a platform for knowledge sharing, exchange of experiences, mutual learning, best practices and support facilitating the development (design, implementation and evaluation) of result-based carbon farming schemes.
- Underpin the establishment of data collection networks (such as carbon flux measurements stations, ground sampling campaigns, etc.), promoting the practice of data sharing and standardisation, retrieval, and aggregation of information.
- To identify best practices for carbon farming monitoring, reporting, and verification that supports fit-for-region approach to upscaling carbon farming. This includes identifying gaps and opportunities at the landscape level in ecosystem monitoring and soil carbon flux mitigation practices, leveraging EU level geographically -explicit monitoring systems and solutions.
Ecologic Institute's work in CREDIBLE focuses on establishing minimum standards for carbon farming. Drawing on experience from existing carbon farming methodologies and carbon markets, Ecologic Institute will lead a focus group on environmental integrity. Ecologic Institute also supports CREDIBLE discussions on policy interactions and recommendations.