Carbon Markets 101
Nearly 20 percent of the human body is carbon.
In fact, carbon has been called the “duct tape of life” since it is at the core of more chemical compounds than all other elements combined. But certain forms of carbon pose a serious problem for our planet. Carbon dioxide, especially emissions from fossil fuels, is the most prevalent greenhouse gas (GHG). Rising levels of carbon dioxide (also referred to as “CO2”) are driving climate change, extreme weather events, air pollution and increased human health concerns. Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. If we could only find a way to trap carbon gas, to capture it and keep it out of the atmosphere, we could begin to address the very real threats caused by carbon emissions.
There is a way. And it’s creating a potential revenue opportunity for corn farmers. By capturing carbon in the soil through prescribed conservation practices, farmers may be compensated for helping other entities offset their carbon gas emissions. The new carbon markets present yet another opportunity for corn farmers to contribute to the health of the planet, and potentially improve their bottom line.
This publication avoids providing specific information on programs, pricing and marketers since the carbon market landscape is changing rapidly. Instead, we invite you to use this basic information to orient yourself and guide your efforts as you explore the opportunities that may exist for you and your farm in the emerging carbon markets.