Sunday, July 16, 2006

Government policy against soil C credits

A research paper called "National and International Policies Affecting the Demand for Soil Carbon Sequestration" reveals how US Government Policy stands in the way of Soil C Credits. The paper by Linda Young, Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University, gives an overview of the various climate change policies currently in place or being discussed around the world. It discusses how these various policies affect the market for carbon trading and the demand for soil carbon sequestration.

She concludes: "U.S. markets for agricultural carbon sequestration services will likely be small unless there is a change in U.S. federal climate-change policy. The Bush administration's climate-change policy establishes emissions reductions at roughly the same pace that they have occurred over the past twenty years due to technological advances. Current U.S. policy is likely to keep demand for carbon credits weak in the United States and given that the United States cannot export carbon credits to entities in countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, international demand for U.S. carbon credits will remain weak as well. As a result, there is little impetus to overcome the verification and measurement challenges the market would require for agricultural sequestration services. State programs are strengthening demand for carbon credits, but at the cost of complying with a myriad of requirements for business that vary by state.

"The development of the carbon market would be facilitated by the emergence of a seamless market with one set of rules for those demanding and supplying carbon credits. Market demand for agricultural sequestration services is likely to remain weak."

Australia's federal government policy follows US policy in lockstep.

See the full paper, with references, at:

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