Why Soil Organic Carbon should be part of climate action pathways








The agrifood sector contributes one-third of the global greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, one could say, a third of the responsibility behind climate change lies with the agrifood sector. Furthermore, 75% of these agrifood system emissions lie within the value of agrifood companies’ value chains. This is a clear indication of the importance of decarbonisation of agrifood value chains for climate action.

The latest reports published by the Food and Land Use Coalition, Future Fit Food and Agriculture: Developments in voluntary frameworks and standards and their influence on legislation for businesses and Future Fit Food and Agriculture: The financial implications of mitigating agriculture and land use change emissions for businesses, highlight this aspect of climate action. The reports state that a 30% reduction in agricultural emissions by 2030 is needed in order to align with the Paris Agreement but with the business as usual trajectory, emissions are projected to increase by 2030. The following graphic provides an overview of the projections of emissions from food systems under the business as usual scenario.

Source: Future Fit Food and Agriculture, FOLU, 2024

Soil based carbon sequestration can potentially inset the whole fraction of agrifood emissions that occur at farm gate.

The FAO reported the global agrifood systems emissions in the year 2020 as 16 Gt CO2eq, half of which were at the farm gate. On the other hand, the soil based carbon sequestration potential is reported as ranging between 5 to 8 Gt CO2eq per year. This means that soil based carbon sequestration could potentially inset the whole portion of agrifood emissions that occur at farm gate. Leveraging this potential can spark a paradigm shift in how policymakers view the agrifood sector: from being a problem to being a part of the solution.

Carbon Farming presents an opportunity for the agrifood sector in general and agrifood businesses in particular to leverage the potential of soil organic carbon stocks as a vital component of their climate action pathways with a clear focus on soil health and other soil-based ecosystem services. At CinSOIL, we aim to fill the critical gaps that hinder the mainstream adoption of Carbon Farming, namely the lack of a robust and scalable MMRV (measuring, monitoring, reporting, verification) tool for soil carbon stocks and a DSS (decision support system) for farmers to enable and finance their to transition to Carbon Farming.

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