Demand for carbon credits has increased exponentially over the past year, as companies face pressure to show their commitment to fighting climate change.
In 2016, less than $200 million was invested in carbon projects. Now, carbon offset projects are valued at $1 billion.
Reforestation and methane capture has always been at the top of the environmental project list; however, new projects targeted to farmers could help remove over 570 million metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
For example, Indigo is currently paying farmers to reduce their use of carbon-intensive fertilizer. Famers are planting cover crops to draw carbon into the soil and then not tilling the land.
Indigo then measures the amount of carbon sequestered, generating carbon credits. These carbon credits are then sold to companies looking to offset their carbon emissions. Believe it or not, companies are flocking to purchase offsets generated by farms.
Chris Harbourt, the Global Head of Carbon for Indigo, told the New York Times, “It tells a great story if you can tell Americans buying a product that their dollars are going to an American program that benefits farmers.”
Though offsets through farmland seem promising, some critics are concerned. They feel that since these farmland projects are not long-term but annual, farmers could choose to give up on the program, negating any progress. They are also worried about the rigor of soil sampling and verification methods.
Indigo says they have ways to fight against this – and believe that the carbon credit industry will only improve.
When combined with innovative technology, and increased regulation, the carbon offset industry can help combat global warming while sparking economic growth. This is why leaders at COP26 were so focused on setting an international standard – they see the value carbon offsets can provide.
In the case of farmland – Indigo couldn’t be more right. Offsets will not only help in the fight against global warming but support local farmers as well.
Offsets continue to show that they are a win for the environment and the economy alike.