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Carbon Farming: CO2 Capture and Storage via Regenerative Agriculture

KLIM | Regenerative agriculture stores CO2 from the atmosphere in the soil and increases soil quality in the process - a win for the climate, consumers, producers and the food retail industry. The storage of CO2 is done by increasing carbon in the soil and - to a lesser degree - via permanent vegetation such as hedges.

Project type

Nature-based

Project field

Forestry and Land Use

Location

Germany

Regenerative agriculture increases the amount of humus in our soils and their CO2 storage capacity

Agriculture has long been one of the main contributors to the climate crisis. Almost a quarter of all emissions worldwide today are caused by agriculture and forestry. Many conventional agricultural practices destroy the topsoil layer known as humus. This layer consists of 60% carbon, which is released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 when it is destroyed.

Through regenerative agriculture, this essential humus layer is increasing and instead of releasing CO2, it stores large amounts of it in the soil. Storing CO2 in our soil leads to negative emissions which are a necessary part of the global climate strategy. Regenerative practices can store up to 11 gigatonnes of CO2 in soils each year worldwide, making it one of the most potent solutions to fight climate change.

 

Solving the climate crisis, food security, and biodiversity loss

Besides its potential to permanently store climate-damaging greenhouse gases in the soil, regenerative practices have a positive impact on ecosystems and global foodsystems. Practices such as flower strips, hedges, and agroforestry provide important habitats for insects, animals, and microorganisms that increase soil health.

Furthermore, yields are stabilized through regenerative cultivation, contributing to making our food system future-proof and ready for a growing global population. The increased water storage capacity of regenerative soils also makes them more resistant to droughts and therefore more climate-resilient.

 

Transparent, additional and permanent credits

KLIM carbon credits are fully traceable. Through digital companion, farmers document all methods in detail, enabling real-time verification. Regular reports offer a full account over farmers and methods supported. To ensure additionality, solely methods are financed which previously have not been applied by the farmer and would not be viable without financial support.

To achieve permanence of carbon storage, KLIM combines 1) financial and 2) behavioural methodologies to ensure that farmers not only keep on using regenerative methods, but even expand its use on their farmland. In combination, this ensures maximum permanence for as long as the farmland is used for agricultural purposes, and for at least 5 years.

Financial nudges: 20% of a farmer's payout is kept as a permanence insurance and is granted to the farmer in the 5th year only if he/she has kept up or increased the use of regenerative methods. The financial vesting scheme being implemented on a rolling yearly basis increases the farmer's opportunity costs of stopping to use regenerative methods over the years.

Behavioural nudges: KLIM educates farmers in order for them to understand that regenerative methods make their farms more profitable (via reduced needs for inputs such as fertilizers) and climate-resilient (via improved water retention rates in the soils that ensure yields even in times of droughts). This is achieved by quantifying the advantages, and likewise by indicating negative consequences of aborting a transition. Various behavioural science-based "nudges" are used, such as comparisons with other farmers.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
Certification