One day earlier, BlackRock’s founder and CEO said that „Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects“. This is a spectacular statement. All these considerations and warnings were a main focus of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. As Bloomberg News put it: „A Sense of Climate Urgency Takes Hold in Davos“
It is good news that climate change and its impacts have finally made it to the very top of the global business agenda. In the agriculture and food sector, perhaps due to its strong and direct dependence on a predictable environment, climate change mitigation and adaptation have been the subject of active debate for a number of years. Solutions that agriculture can provide to mitigate climate change are already being implemented. However, their implementation is currently limited to private initiatives and has not yet reached a scale where its full potential is demonstrated.
One of these solutions is carbon farming, a term describing a collection of farming practices that sequester carbon in soil and woody perennial biomass. Farmers do this for increasing their farm’s resilience and also for obtaining carbon credits. There are solutions with and without certification. Farm-based carbon offsetting schemes can be found across the globe, for example in Australia and Northwestern Europe. The so-called Insetting is a special form of carbon farming where downstream supply chain emissions are neutralized at the product’s farm origin, or with other local farms, for example in Germany.
In the organic and regenerative agriculture sector, such carbon farming initiatives are kindling more and more interest. In February 2020, the organic farming community will come together in their annual meeting, the Biofach fair in Nuremberg, and talk about climate change, risks and opportunities, such as in a special session on carbon credits in organic agriculture.
In our view, farmers who are implementing climate friendly practices should be rewarded for their efforts and their investments into our shared natural capital base –in policy (subsidies of the EU CAP) and in business (as suppliers of food companies). This would be an appropriate response to the widely felt ‘sense of climate urgency”. It is time.