Agriculture is at the core of climate disruption issues: it contributes to it, it is a victim of it, but it is above all a key source of solutions. With forestry, they are the single human activities likely to answer climate change issues for all humanity by carbon sequestration in soils and the production of biomass. Indeed, agricultural activity has the unique feature to capture atmospheric carbon via photosynthesis, we talk of carbon sinks.
In order to create the necessary incentives for agriculture’s commitment, one way is therefore to offer farmers to enhance their « carbon externalities », namely to get them paid for the greenhouse gas that they allow to store or not to emit by modifying their practices. Paying farmers for their « low-carbon », practices, beside the profit on their farm operating statement that more ecological agricultural practices may represent, stands out as an incentive, an innovative solution to reach the ambitious objectives to cut global greenhouse gas emissions towards carbon neutrality.
To support this commitment,
have created, since 2019, the consortium « Carbon Think » to implement the collaborative project
« Carbon as the driver of agricultural transition ».
This project is financed by Grand-Est Region within the frame of European Partnerships of Innovation from the European Commission.
Its objective is to create economic models allowing for financing low-carbon transition. Namely, 100 farmers from Grand Est will get paid for their reductions of greenhouse gas net emissions and their actions of carbon sequestration, especially via the methodological baselines as certified by the label Low Carbon. Such certified practices may then result in the sale of agricultural « carbon credits» on the voluntary market with companies willing to compensate their residual emissions, after having already carried out some efforts for reduction. Therefore, willing companies will be able to acquire « carbon credits» on models produced and certified in France. A blockchain will be implemented to ease and secure the various flows between the parties involved.
The feedback of economic and financial experience of the project will be used to feeding the thoughts for the works of the future Common Agricultural Policy, in particular regarding climate issues.
Beyond operational results, the expected impacts are to create a territorial dynamism enabling to drive agriculture into a real low-carbon transition, by reducing its carbon footprint and by enhancing, via the deployment of economic instruments co-built by all the actors involved, its capacity to produce renewable carbon.