Gold Standard, a climate solutions organization, has launched a new carbon credit methodology aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in rice cultivation. The methodology, developed in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), provides instructions for estimating baseline and project emissions, monitoring guidelines, and requirements for field stratification. It focuses on managing water use to reduce methane emissions from flooded rice paddies, which account for around 10% of global man-made methane emissions. Research has shown that reducing and managing water use can decrease methane emissions by up to 50%.
The methodology can be applied to projects of various scales and offers a cost-effective and practical way for smallholder farmers to earn income from the sale of carbon credits. It addresses important concerns regarding field stratification and also accounts for changes in nitrous oxide emissions. Key IRRI scientists who contributed to the development of the methodology include Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, Dr. Katherine Nelson, and Dr. Reiner Wassmann.
Interventions and technologies mentioned in the methodology include changing the water regime to intermittently flooded conditions, using the alternate wetting and drying method, adopting aerobic rice cultivation methods, and switching from transplanted to direct-seeded rice. These measures mitigate anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in rice-cropping soils.
The methodology was developed as part of a partnership between Gold Standard and IRRI, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and co-funded by the German Corporation for International Cooperation. The Eurecat Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya also provided additional technical inputs.
To promote the methodology, a webinar is scheduled on July 28, 2023, where one of the key contributors, Dr. Reiner Wassmann, will present on best practices and advancements in measuring methane from rice fields.
Overall, this new carbon credit methodology aims to incentivize sustainable rice farming by helping farmers reduce emissions from rice fields and generate income from the sale of carbon credits. It has the potential to contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change and achieve carbon reduction outcomes at scale.