On May 25, 2021, Resources for the Future (RFF) and Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability hosted a conversation on carbon farming and accurately measuring greenhouse gases stored in agricultural soils. Carbon farming involves incentivizing landowners and operators to adopt greenhouse gas–mitigating land management practices, helping engage the agriculture and forestry sectors in carbon markets while achieving climate change policy goals.
This event focused on the foundational issue of monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV). Both government-led and market-based programs depend on robust MRV protocols to determine how to reward participants for implementing carbon farming practices, yet MRV is challenging to do effectively. Verification costs, accuracy, permanence, and leakage all must be addressed under any greenhouse gas-mitigating incentive system.
The panel of experts discussed different approaches to incentive structure and MRV protocols for carbon farming, the benefits and drawbacks of such approaches, and concepts that policymakers and industry leaders can use to guide the development of effective incentive frameworks.
This event is part of an Issues in Carbon Farming series hosted by RFF and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. Future events will center on equity in carbon farming programs and the financial mechanisms behind carbon farming.
- Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Peter Woodbury, Cornell University
- Maria Bowman, United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service
- Kris Johnson, The Nature Conservancy
- Debbie Reed, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium
- Ann M. Bartuska, Resources for the Future (moderator)