Carbon – the word confused in CFI

A consortium of CO2Land org friends met with a government department recently and the discussion centred on how best to reach the target audience of the Carbon Farm Initiatives. It was quickly determined that large brand influence gave comfort to the executive level but gave little comfort to the target level – the landholders. Part of the problem is the word ‘carbon’ and carbon is directly linked to abatement and an offsets market.  Whereas the focus issue for farmers is methane production and it is part of the production cycle and it does seem contradictory to imply the backside of a cow can be abated as a constant! Or, that a field in production will have a constant and linear carbon footprint over time because that production will be affected by climate change.  No room for climate change deniers here, but the thinking caps might be needed on how to be more effective on how to reach the rural production people.

CO2Land org will go Greenhouse Gas 101 to give more detail on the problem: The GHG protocol provided principles when undertaking a GHG inventory – relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency and accuracy are the tests. Take consistency as an example: To allow for meaningful comparison of emissions performance over time. A market will make an accounting assumption and be consistent with that assumption, but in practice a cow or field will have two forces at work – The quality of feed available, and the natural microbe activity that nature balances to inputs. The other 4 requirements of the protocol are then compromised if they only measure a snapshot of the activity and assume a standard deviation of the mean is sufficient for productive outcomes. Only a full life cycle of the production is the proof for sustainable production and the market can only give an element of comfort – when dealing with rural livelihoods that operate on small margins in return for the activities. Therefore this point illustrates that the measures are very important considerations for participation.

Can you now see the connection of why CFI methodologies are so exhaustively vetted? Why it is so difficult to get a simple answer to your query? Is the word Carbon itself causing confusion?