The agriculture sector generates several greenhouse gases – methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide – and is responsible for 10.1% ofEuropean GHG emissions. However, carbon sequestration in soil can also help remove atmospheric CO2.
The overall objective of the LIFE CARBON FARMING is to reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural products by 15% within six years, using result-based funding. Carbon finance has a key role to play in incentivising and expanding low-carbon initiatives. The project will bring together actors involved in agriculture and other economic sectors (public bodies, industrial companies and banks) to implement carbon finance mechanisms in six European countries.
Specifically, the project will aim to:
- Develop a harmonised sustainability assessment methodology and a common process for monitoring, reporting and verifying to help farmers reduce the carbon footprint of their farms and measure the progress achieved via Carbon Farming Projects (CFP);
- Train farmers and advisers, and apply CFP in 700 farms in France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Germany and Spain;
- Evaluate CFP implementation costs to improve funding initiative schemes;
- Implement and disseminate carbon offset mechanisms that will consist of the development of a voluntary carbon market (recruitment of carbon buyers, contract procedures between farmers, project developers and carbon buyers); and
- Create and promote a European network of farmers and partners involved in CFP to share knowledge and replicate the project results and tools.
The project contributes to EU climate policy goals, such as the EU 2030 Climate target plan COM/2020/562 (Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition Investing in a climate-neutral future for the benefit of our people), and the Effort Sharing Regulation (Decision No 406/2009/EC). The project is also relevant to the EU common agricultural policy CAP and its ‘farm to fork’ strategy.
- 700 sustainability audits carried out in mixed crop-livestock farms and 700 farmers applying a low carbon strategy;
- 15% reduction of the carbon footprint of farms (considering GHG reduction and carbon sequestration increase), which corresponds to 633 841 tonnes-eq CO2 for the 700 farms involved in the project;
- Revenue of €6.34m for farmers (credits corresponding to carbon offset);
- 18 Carbon Farming Projects implemented in six contracting countries;
- 78 advisers trained in sustainability assessments in farms and building mitigation action plans.