Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Build us a soil C trading system"

Carbon Farmers of Australia - the non-profit trading arm of the Carbon Coalition - is working on IP (intellectual property) in the MMV (measurement, monitoring and verification) area.(Everyone else is doing it.) We'd tell you about it, but it seems you have to be secretive about it or someone ill steal it. We recently responded to a tender from the NZ Government for a soil carbon trading mechanism.
Introduction: The methodology outlined here might be surprising, given the dominance of science and scientists in the debate so far. The question the MAF should be asking is this: “Why, after more than 12 years research, have the best scientists, working in the soil carbon field all over the world, not yet delivered a cost-effective and practical measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) system to enable trade in soil carbon to proceed when it took only 8 years to put a man on the moon?” It is plain to anyone involved in the field for more than a few months that the solution the MAF is seeking does not lie in more scientific research to develop more “accurate” measurement techniques. The answer lies in gaining agreement between parties to the trading scheme that they can be confident they can transact and achieve their goals. Science cannot be a proxy for the decision because science, from 1995 to date, has only discovered reasons why the trade cannot proceed, based on increasing degrees of exactitude. Always the response is: “More research is needed.” (The 10 years Sir Nicholas Stern gave the world in which to act to avoid climate crisis 2 years go will have passed before the extraordinary sequestration capacity of soils can be deployed.) The world’s leading soil carbon scientists are appealing to their colleagues to abandon the purist approach and contribute to a practical solution, based on their knowledge of how soil carbon acts. We have already seen movement in this direction among Australian soil scientists ho must be among the most progressive in the world. (See comments of Professor R. Lal (IPCC), Dr John Kimble, ex-USDA attached)

No comments: