The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Farmers are urged: ‘Don’t risk carbon credits’

Avoid the ‘dash for cash’ farmers are warned.

Two independent reports, commissioned and funded by the World Wildlife Fund and Tesco Partnership, have warned that rushing to sell their carbon credits could jeopardise the emission targets of farm businesses in the future.

This would pose risks to food production, local communities and nature recovery schemes.

The temptation to sell carbon credits is strong, it is a market that could potentially be worth £1.7bn/year. This is half the value of all current farm support payments. But, warned the reports’ authors, carbon off-set credits can only be used once and cannot be used by the business to make claims about low-carbon or net-zero produce.

Instead, farmers are urged to focus on reducing their own emissions before trading their carbon to offset the pollution of other sectors.

And, responding to he reports in a presentation at the Oxford farming Conference, James Elliott of the Green Alliance, the think tank that helped produce both reports with researchers from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Manchester University, says collaboration between farmers and their customers to cut emissions and sequester carbon within the supply chain could be a “safer bet” for farmers than selling credits.