Carbon payments - are you missing out?
An Introduction to Soil Capital
‘Europe’s first certified carbon payment programme for Farmers’
Happy new year! I hope you all managed to have some form of a break over the Christmas period!
I am writing to make you aware of Europe’s first certified carbon payment scheme. We have scrutinised the scheme in detail, and we feel it is an opportunity too good to miss for many of you!
Outline details of the scheme are below, but we will be holding a Zoom meeting with Soil Capital on the 19th January 2023 at 1pm to discuss the opportunity further, and answer any questions you may have! I would strongly encourage you to attend, and if you can’t make that date, please sign up anyway and we will send you a recording afterwards.
You can sign up for the Zoom meeting here. Places will be limited, so please sign up as soon as possible.
What is Soil Capital?
The Soil Capital programme allows farmers to sell carbon certificates (not carbon credits!). The programme supports and pays farmers for adopting favourable practices that help to improve a farms carbon footprint and promote soil health for example.
· Utilising organic inputs.
· Establishing cover or companion crops.
· Minimise soil disturbance.
· Introducing legumes into rotations.
· Introducing temporary grass leys into the rotation.
· Integrating agroforestry within field boundaries.
How do carbon certificates differ from carbon credits?
Carbon certificates focus on emissions from on-field practices and the associated inputs used for the practices. The difference between purchasing a carbon certificate or a carbon credit for companies lies mainly in the possibility or not to offset their emissions and declare carbon neutrality.
Ultimately, carbon certificates do not allow a company to offset its emissions and declare itself carbon neutral, whereas carbon credits do.
Are you eligible for the programme?
The programme is currently aimed towards arable farmers (who may have a small number of livestock). Both conventional and organic systems are eligible. There may also be opportunities for dairy farms (goats and cows) where animals are primarily housed and not grazing.
How does the programme work?
You initially commit to a baseline Green House Gas (GHG) assessment at the time of registration. There will then be a GHG assessment each year for the following 5 years.
During the initial 5 years of the programme, 80% of your certificates can be sold immediately. The remaining 20% will be held in the buffer and can only be sold 10 years later (years 10 to 15).
The buffer serves as a mechanism to compensate for potential carbon losses during the programme and to give reassurance on the permanence of carbon storage that your certificates represent to buyers.
What is the commitment?
The initial programme duration is 5 years. This 5 years is then followed by a retention period of 10 years whereby the carbon in the soil must be maintained. However, you can exit the scheme at any time.
How will you be paid?
Each tonne of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) reduced or sequestered during the programme generates a carbon certificate. The baseline assessment influences how your certificates will be calculated. This is done in 2 ways.
1. If your baseline assessment shows that you are already sequestering carbon overall - the annual GHG balance will be compared to a fixed regional reference and the difference between your annual performance and this regional reference will be translated into certificates.
2. If your baseline assessment shows that you are a net emitter of GHGs - the annual GHG balance will be compared to your own baseline assessment and you will therefore have to improve your practices to create a differential that will be translated into a number of certificates.
Overall, your potential earnings depend on your practices, context and efforts throughout the programme.
Where are the carbon certificates sold?
The carbon certificates are sold annually on the voluntary carbon markets.
What is the value of each carbon certificate?
At a minimum, £23 per tonne of carbon. This price is variable upwards each year, as it reviewed annually according to the market.
2022 payments saw farmers receive an average of £32 per hectare.
Where can you find out more information?
Kelly Farm Consulting are hosting a Zoom meeting with Soil Capital on the 19th January 2023 (13:00 hrs) to further discuss the opportunity and answer any questions you may have!
You can sign up for this meeting at www.kellyfarmconsulting.com/soilcapital