Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

The Role of Carbon Markets and Conservation Incentives in Agriculture

Presented by Ryan Anderson, Delta Institute - Chicago

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February 25, 2010

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As the policy landscape for agriculture changes rapidly, market-based programs in place and under development can provide revenue opportunities for a wide range of conservation practices. This presentation will focus on the experiences learned from the Delta Carbon Program, a carbon credit aggregation venture created to pay farmers, foresters and other landowners for the sequestration benefits of qualifying conservation practices. The revenue returned to individuals in the program has allowed them to continue to implement their stewardship activities, encouraging more widespread adoption of the appropriate tools and technologies. The innovation in the structure of the carbon program and successful implementation allowed Delta to create both new protocol to expand the types of practices that can be awarded carbon credits, as well as linkages with other incentive programs. These experiences are now being translated into a policy context as federal deliberations take shape, with further applications and extensions made possible as markets and programmatic scope expand within carbon and for the full range of ecosystem services.

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