Climate Protocol Approved for CA Rice Farming

 Today, the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) approved a new protocol for measuring the climate benefits of reducing  methane emissions from rice farming practices.  

CAR developed the protocol with participation from Environmental Defense Fund and other groups over several months.  The American Climate Registry (ACR) and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) are expected to adopt rice protocols in 2012. 

EDF worked for the past several years on quantifying the benefits that can be achieved from changing current farming practices toward more climate-aware and ecosystem-beneficial practices.  In California, the most productive agricultural state in America, opportunities abound to maximize ecosystem services throughout the state – including:

  • changes to rice farming and fertilizer management;
  • application of compost to rangelands; and
  • restoring wetlands. 

 These practices, if credited by California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) as approved protocols, will not only reduce pollution from California’s agriculture sector, they will yield additional economic benefits to farmers as offsets that can be sold to companies that must comply with the state’s cap-and-trade program that is the cornerstone of its landmark climate law, AB 32

High-end estimates indicate that, if fully subscribed for optimal profits, about 180,000 tons per year of greenhouse gas pollution can be cut from changing to low-carbon rice management.

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