1. The UK Farm Soil Carbon Code will consist of a set of formal protocols that allow farmers to quantify and verify reduced greenhouse gas emissions and/or soil carbon capture as a result of adopting regenerative farming practices.
2. The Code will be free to use and open access to all farmers. It will be straightforward, practical, affordable, accessible and achievable. It will be outcome-based, not practice-based.
3. The Code will be applicable for different ‘carbon accounting’ purposes - offset registries, carbon insetters, carbon capture incentive schemes, ecosystem services and environmental investment products - whether carbon capture will be monetised or not.
In order for the Code to be created, the Consortium has identified a number of critical knowledge gaps that need filling. These include the science underpinning sequestration practices and potential, the views of stakeholders and market players, and the lessons to be learnt from existing UK Natural Capital codes (woodland, peatland) as well as soil carbon codes already up and running around the world.
This research, as well as the critical steps needed to draft, consult on and refine the code are as follows:
Preliminary research is already being conducted by the Global Food Security programme’s Resilient Dairy Landscapes project, and additional funding has been sought to develop the Code from Defra and the Environment Agency and via a crowdfunding site.
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