Farmers sought for carbon trading trial

Farms are needed to help map the UK’s soil carbon content, in the first stage of a project to enable farmers to enter the emissions trading market.

AR Carbon, a government-funded project, is seeking farms to provide soil sampling sites. The soil’s carbon content will be tested monthly and will help to create a UK-wide map.

The second stage of the project will support farmers to increase their soil’s carbon content and sell this as carbon credits in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). As part of the Kyoto Protocol, the ETS capped countries’ emissions and created a market for businesses with reduced emissions to sell their credits to higher polluters.

“We want to be able to tell people that the carbon you’ve got in your soils is a tradeable asset,” says Richard Page, co-founder of AR Carbon. “We’d really like farms of all shapes and sizes to come forward.”

In the second stage, the project will launch a website with advice on carbon sequestration methods – the process of capturing atmospheric carbon into the soil. Farms will be charged for biannual soil testing to monitor their increase in tradeable carbon, and AR Carbon will take a commission on every carbon credit sold.

Mr Page stressed that carbon markets fluctuate, and that not every farm would be able to increase its carbon content to the same extent.The project is looking for 10-15 farms across the UK to provide a diverse range soil types, management systems, and topographies. To take part or find out more visit www.arcarbon.co.uk/home

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