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Sustainability industry veterans and newcomers gathered in Anaheim, California, last week for North American Carbon World 2022, an event hosted by the Climate Action Reserve. After two years of virtual events, everyone was excited to be together again to discuss how a surge of new players in the market would accelerate global carbon abatement and sequestration initiatives.
Between conversations on the show floor and in the booths, a common theme emerged: The urgent need for climate technology and policy adoption should be balanced with scientific quality and rigor for carbon credits—the need to go fast is just as important as the need to go far. Here are two big-picture ideas from the event:
1. There’s an urgent need for both speed and scale
With the latest report from Working Group 3, the mitigation-focused section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), publishing at the same time as the event, the need for rapid and broad adoption of climate technologies was at the top of everyone’s mind. (Plus, temperatures topped 100 degrees for two out of the conference’s three days.)
A lot of attention was directed to nature-based solutions for their affordability, scalability, and diversity of co-benefits. Indigo’s Carbon program, with its commitment to generating third-party verified agricultural carbon credits, was of special interest to attendees.
Indigo's Carbon Science team at NA Carbon World. From left to right: Max DuBuisson, Guy Punjav, PhD, MacKenzie Walker, Guillaume Defrance de Tersant, Meredith Reisfield, Brad Justice.
2. Carbon market integrity is paramount
Voluntary carbon market saw tremendous growth in 2021, and offset prices and trading volume continue to increase. There was even the emergence of a futures market for carbon, to help align and manage the risk of transactions in the voluntary carbon market, which saw adoption from California, Europe, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Of course, as demand skyrockets, the integrity of voluntary carbon markets becomes more precarious. Many of the sessions at NA Carbon World touched on this concern, describing numerous initiatives underway to establish global standards for high quality carbon credits across markets. With new guidance on what “quality” means forthcoming from both the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity (VCMI) and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) later in 2022, the industry is approaching a new phase of alignment on the market’s supply side.
Brad Justice speaks at NA Carbon World.
Balancing goals for speed and integrity will define this next wave of voluntary carbon market development. Ambitious positions and ideas will need to become real and verifiable, for all technologies from carbon farming techniques to direct-air carbon capture and storage. Indigo is excited to be ahead of this curve, having already implemented monitoring, reporting, and verification protocols from the Climate Action Reserve to help farmers generate high quality and valuable carbon credits.
Disclaimer: This article may contain perspectives from one or more third party sources and/or generally applicable information or statements that may not necessarily apply to all operations. A number of variables can affect outcomes on any particular farming operation. Indigo does not guarantee any results with respect to agronomic outcomes, soil health, financial or profitability outcomes, carbon dioxide equivalents sequestered, carbon credits generated or amount or eligibility of payments with respect to any individual landowner or operator. Each participant should carefully consider their own particular situation before adopting any practices and should not rely solely on the information provided in this article.