Conservation Agriculture as a driver for Carbon Credit market

Vincenzo Tabaglio, Mauro Grandi, S Brenna, M Acutis

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


Reducing CO2 emission is an unavoidable target by now. Nevertheless the implementation of new technologies will produce effects only in the medium-long term. In the meantime the compensation of CO2 emissions through “carbon credits” generated by agriculture could achieve a double goal, mitigating the impact of climate change and stimulating agriculture itself to become more efficient in the use of energy and more sustainable. Carbon credits representing reductions in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can indeed arise increasing the amount of carbon stored in soils and trees and reducing or avoiding emissions during the productive processes. Scientific literature demonstrated in particular soil management according to the “Conservation Agriculture” principles could significantly increase the soil organic carbon content. Those data were confirmed by the results recently achieved in north Italy (project “AgriCO2ltura”, ERSAF- Regional Agency for Agriculture and Forests of Lombardy, Italy). In fact, in the Po plain the organic carbon stock currently stored in soils varies from 34 to 60 t ha-1 and a potential for further uptake in the presence of appropriate soil management has been estimated at least 12.8 t ha-1 of CO2 equivalent. Therefore, opportunities to develop a carbon market, where the CO2 emissions are compensated by “agricultural credits”, potentially occur. Examples of carbon markets are already running in Canada (province of Alberta) and Australia. In Lombardy the intention is now to test a prototype of a carbon offset system adapted to the specific local situation. The aim is to verify which are the conditions for the development of a voluntary carbon credits market based on offset protocols of interest to agriculture, allowing to provide new economic opportunities for farmers and keep at local level the funds collected through the offset credit trading. The project is expected to address the development of “green marketing” strategies by private companies or public institutions as well as a more precise accounting for the agricultural carbon deposits (in Lombardy almost 10% of total greenhouse gases emissions are ascribed to agriculture). As a first step the development of farm protocols concerning the Tillage management and the Milk Life Cycle is planned. At the same time extension efforts to grow awareness and provide tools and information to support the offset system are needed. In this way, the Life project “HelpSoil” (LIFE12 ENV/IT/578) is expected to give an important contribution with respect to soil tillage improvement. In fact, the “HelpSoil” project is aimed at verifying on different pedoclimatic conditions and cropping systems of the Po plain how Conservation Agriculture management practices allow to a reduction of fuel consumption for soil works and lead to the sequestration of carbon into the soil.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteGreen Carbon: Making sustainable agriculture real
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014
EventoEuropean Conference on “Green Carbon: Making Sustainable Agriculture Real” - Bruxelles
Durata: 1 apr 20143 apr 2014


ConvegnoEuropean Conference on “Green Carbon: Making Sustainable Agriculture Real”


  • Carbon Credit
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Conservation Agriculture
  • No-tillage
  • Soil Organic Carbon

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