The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has rolled out the $3.1 billion Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities, which aims to help farmers generate more income by participating in ecosystem service markets, such as carbon markets. However, the program has not addressed the issue of “additionality,” which refers to farmers taking steps to sequester carbon or reduce emissions that would not have happened without the sale of carbon credits. The additionality problem has raised concerns among stakeholders in the private market, who claim that the program’s design does not align with existing market standards, potentially excluding farmers from participating in other markets. Additionally, the USDA’s 141 climate-smart pilot projects were designed by individuals who understand USDA programs but lack knowledge of private markets, presenting challenges for farmers looking to enroll in the program. Despite these concerns, USDA officials have acknowledged the need for standardization and are working to define additionality and develop incentives for both existing practices and new ones. The USDA is set to release a report on the state of carbon markets as part of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which also grants the USDA the authority to establish a certification for companies that sell carbon credits. The department is investing $300 million in efforts to document carbon sequestration in agriculture and forestry. Critics argue that the current carbon market system does not adequately serve farmers and needs to be revamped to promote more equitable solutions. Stakeholders stress the importance of engaging the agricultural sector in discussions to develop practical and economically viable protocols.
ICE is preparing to introduce a futures market for carbon credits under CORSIA, which will focus on reducing airline emissions.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced plans to launch a physically delivered futures contract for carbon credits eligible for use by the...