GIZ Synthesis Paper on Voluntary Carbon Markets for Soil Organic Carbon. Draft for Comment


Oct 2020

Despite their unique potential to sequester atmospheric carbon, SLM projects have not yet reached their full implementation potential at scale due to several challenges. For SOC projects, for example, upfront investment is often required to transition farms to SLM practices that would mitigate GHG emissions while simultaneously providing a host of other environmental and social benefits. SOC protecting or sequestering activities, policies and targets related to agriculture were included in 28 first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted to the Paris Agreement. However, for many of these countries, implementing these activities towards the set targets would require financial resources beyond the current means of the national governments. A potential way to increase finance for SOC sequestration activities is to connect them to additional sources of finance through the sale of carbon credits in carbon markets.

This synthesis paper provides a synopsis of the discourse around the integration of SLM, soils, and SOC into carbon markets. The crucial aspects for such integration are highlighted. An overview of standards and methodologies for SOC project certification are presented, along with key considerations for SOC project development. A case study is presented in which SLM, soils and SOC have been integrated into the carbon market. Additional references are provided where relevant for more in-depth reading.


Posted on

October 5, 2020