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Record Carbon Credit

Regenerative agriculture just got a boost when Indigo Ag and Microsoft finalized a record carbon credit agreement. The agreement calls for Microsoft to purchase 40,000 agricultural soil-based carbon credits from Indigo Ag, a Boston-based agricultural technology company.  



Feed and Grain reports that no single buyer has ever purchased this many credits from Indigo Ag.



Microsoft had set a goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030. In 2020 Microsoft President Brad Smith announced the initiative.  


“The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. The carbon in our atmosphere has created a blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate. Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.”


“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.

 

By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.”

 

Microsoft’s announcement also explained how it calculated the resources needed to accomplish this new priority. “We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions, but those from our supply and value chains,” the statement said.         


Image courtesy: Microsoft

The U.S. Soil Enrichment Protocol (SEP) of the Climate Action Reserve verified Microsoft’s purchase through Indigo Ag, according to Feed and Grain. The Climate Action Reserve is a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles. It serves as a carbon credit registry focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The organization explains SEP like this: “…provides guidance on how to quantify, monitor, report, and verify agricultural practices that enhance carbon storage in soils. The primary GHG (greenhouse gases) benefit targeted is the accrual of additional carbon in agricultural soils, with hopes to incentivize GHG emission reductions from other sources, such as N2O (Nitrous oxide) from fertilizer use.”


RELATED: Climate Action Reserve details its carbon credits program and how that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Read that here. 


Discussions about carbon credits, carbon emissions, and carbon neutrality have become more mainstream with some agricultural industry leaders’ focus on balancing increased production with better stewardship of the environment.


Carboncredits.com lays out the premise: “Carbon credits essentially represent metric tons of carbon. Simply put, one carbon credit allows or offsets one metric ton of carbon emissions.”


RELATED: This video from CNBC explains how carbon credits provide a new opportunity for farmers. Watch that here. 

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American Farmland Owner Hayfields mountains

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