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Agricarbon: helping farmers tap into the carbon credits market

Colin Campbell, Matt Gorman, Helaina Black and Stewart Arbuckle look at soil
"It is vital that this carbon benefit is realised in the short term to address the climate crisis"

An initiative supported by the James Hutton Institute has set its sights on developing methods for measuring soil carbon with a cost-effective commercial tool to help UK farmers tap into the carbon credits market.

Agricarbon, led by Invergowrie farmer Stewart Arbuckle, has funding from Heathrow Airport, which is one of the world’s first aviation hubs to become carbon neutral for its infrastructure and is targeting zero-carbon by the mid-2030s.

Mr Arbuckle said that Agricarbon aims to assist companies who are looking to become carbon neutral but cannot decarbonise internally so would have to offset by buying carbon credits.

“Our method aims to measure soil carbon and how it changes over time so we can generate soil carbon credits which can be sold to companies to bring revenue to farmers,” he added.

The James Hutton Institute is supporting the project by providing knowledge and access to expertise and resources, including Scotland’s National Soil Archive, hosted at the Institute’s Aberdeen site.

Senior soil scientist Dr Helaina Black, an honorary associate of the Institute, commented: “We are pleased to be able to support initiatives like Agricarbon and Heathrow's, which will help farmers and other land managers to increase and restore carbon stores in soils and ecosystems.

“It is vital that this carbon benefit is realised in the short term to address the climate crisis.”

Heathrow has also announced £1.8m of new funding for piloting UK natural carbon capture projects in 2020, some of which will be in Scotland.

The investment will help promote the restoration of natural UK carbon sinks – including peatlands, woodlands and farming soils – which have been estimated by the Committee on Climate Change to have the ability to save 43 MT of carbon annually by 2050, if significant investments are made.

The airport has also committed to use its position to encourage others within the aviation industry to invest in similar initiatives up and down the country.

Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Making our infrastructure entirely carbon neutral is a significant milestone and a testament to the determination of our airport to help spearhead a new era of sustainable aviation.

“Our sights are now set on working with the global aviation industry to deliver on net-zero by 2050, at the latest. We can and will cut the environmental cost of flying whilst keeping the benefits of travel for future generations.”

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/agricarbon-helping-farmers-tap-carbon-credits-market on 09/12/23 07:13:25 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.