Paying for Carbon: Measuring Climate Solutions in Agriculture

An in-depth discussion on carbon farming and accurately measuring greenhouse gases stored in agricultural soils


May 25, 2021


12:00–1:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Event Series

RFF Live

Event Details

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.


Opening Remarks

  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Introductory Remarks

  • 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)

Event Video

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