Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Soil carbon markets: science or snake oil? Matthew Harrison, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Associate Professor Matthew Harrison, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, November 2022

This presentation covers:

  • Why all the hype about soil carbon?
  • Soil carbon sequestration and carbon cycling
  • Challenges in measuring statistical changes in soil carbon over time
  • Benefits of improved soil organic carbon, including mitigation of global warming and drought resilience, water holding capacity, improvements in biodiversity
  • Interventions or practice changes for increasing soil carbon
  • Costs of participating in soil carbon markets
  • Income from soil carbon markets and indicative soil carbon losses
  • Income from soil carbon markets vs income from improved productivity
  • Soil carbon stoichiometry
  • Selling carbon credits vs creating a carbon neutral product
  • Soil organic carbon vs soil organic matter
  • The contentious issue of additionality
  • Divergent aspirations: prosperity of an individual vs societal public good
  • Rethinking soil carbon markets: would a payment instrument based on soil carbon stocks rather than fluxes be more effective?
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