In Europe and beyond Carbon Farming has gained prominence as a mitigation option to reach targets set in the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. Enhancing the potential of soils to store more carbon while maintaining existing SOC levels, especially on peatlands and other carbon-rich soils, is a key lever for mitigating climate change. However, designing sound schemes that maintain or increase SOC content is challenging and there is a need for bringing agronomic insights into policy design and integrating insights from economics, sociology and political science.
In December 2022 the European Commission will outline a framework for Carbon Farming that will lay the foundation for developing public and private carbon farming initiatives. In order to ensure acceptance among land-users and policymakers, there is a need to understand how such practices can be implemented in current farming systems across Europe, along with the necessary Monitoring, Reporting and Verification systems.
Designing effective schemes is a complex process in which a number of challenges need to be addressed, including: (1) minimizing costs (of incentives and MRV), (2) environmental performance (effectiveness, additionality and additional ecosystem services) and (3) social (fairness, legitimacy and land-user engagement). Therefore, a successful scheme design needs to balance these diverse considerations. This session invites presentations that discuss challenges and opportunities for designing robust Carbon Farming schemes that prevent emissions of GHG from agri-food system, while at the same time being socially acceptable and economically viable. Particular attention will be given to the opportunities to develop result-based carbon farming schemes where payment levels reflect the actual impact of the management practices on carbon stocks (relative to a benchmark).