Publications

CARBON OFFSET PROJECTS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

28 December 2011 - Climate Report - By : Claudine FOUCHEROT

By Claudine FOUCHEROT et Valentin BELLASSEN

The agricultural sector accounts for 14% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If we also take into account carbon emissions and sequestration from upstream – production of fertilisers, deforestation, etc. – and downstream – bio-energies, etc. – the share rises to 30%. Many practices and technologies enable agriculture’s impact on climate change to be reduced. According to a number of estimates that are summarised in this research, the agricultural sector’s mitigation potential is of the same order of magnitude as its emissions over a period of 30 years. However, changing agricultural practices comes at a cost, and in most cases such changes are not made without economic incentives.

Carbon offsetting projects are one of the economic tools available to reduce agricultural emissions by paying for metric tons of avoided CO2e emissions. A summary of the emission reductions enabled by agricultural projects to date is provided in this report. It covers most projects certified by quality assurance standards, including those set up by the Kyoto Protocol (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation) and those in the voluntary market (Verified Carbon Standard, Climate Action Reserve, Gold Standard, Chicago Climate Exchange, and American Carbon Registry). The assessment drawn up on this basis shows that emission reductions enabled through carbon offsetting are thousand times lower than actual emissions and their potential mitigation. Agricultural projects have reduced emissions by 14 MtCO2e in 2010, i.e. 7% of the reductions generated by all carbon offset projects across all sectors for this year.

Initiatives focus on three technologies: bio-energies (crop residues), methanisation of livestock waste, and soil carbon sequestration using no-till practices. This is very little compared with the large number of mitigation technologies that could be used in this sector. The diffuse nature of agricultural emissions and the cost of the abatement measures are the main obstacles to developing agricultural projects. However, the introduction of multi-farm aggregators enables to share costs. Moreover, research on new techniques for measuring emissions more efficiently and less costly is a mean to overcome these obstacles and release the mitigation potential.

CARBON OFFSET PROJECTS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR pdf
I4CE Contacts
Claudine FOUCHEROT
Claudine FOUCHEROT
Program Director Agriculture and Forestry Email
To learn more
  • 12/15/2016
    The implications of 2015 for Financing Climate-Consistent Development

    I4CE has just published an article in the Fall 2016 edition of La lettre de l’I-tésé n°29. The article discusses the international milestones marked 2015 as a seminal year with long-term implications for countries around the globe. From the adoption of the 2030 Development Agenda that comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals to the Paris Climate Agreement, a […]

  • 02/04/2012
    Carbon Leakage in the Primary Aluminium Sector: What evidence after 6 ½ years of the EU ETS?

    By Oliver Sartor This paper provides an econometric analysis of the evidence of carbon leakage from the European primary aluminium industry during the first 6 ½ years of the EU ETS. The findings suggest that while rising electricity prices have played a critical role in reducing the competitiveness of EU primary aluminium smelting in recent […]

  • 02/10/2021 Blog post
    Jean Pisani-Ferry becomes Chair of I4CE, the Institute for Climate Economics

    I4CE’s Board of Directors has appointed Jean Pisani-Ferry as Chair of the association. Jean Pisani-Ferry was previously Director of the European think tank Bruegel then France Stratégie, and his experience will enable the Institute to develop its capacity to inform the public policy debate. He succeeds Pierre Ducret, founder of I4CE, who has chaired the Institute since its creation, after developing climate economics research activities at Caisse des Dépôts then CDC Climat.

See all publications
Press contact Amélie FRITZ Head of Communication and press relations Email
Subscribe to our mailing list :
I register !
Subscribe to our newsletter
Once a week, receive all the information on climate economics
I register !
Fermer