The potential to pay farmers for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere is gaining political momentum internationally and within Government. Last month, Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan indicated that Irish farmers would be paid to store carbon.

While his comments are welcome, the development of a mechanism to allow farm sequestered carbon to be traded on a carbon market at full value is going to take significant work and up-front investment. It will require a national audit process, that through measurement, reporting and validation, scientifically establishes and moves to verifiably improve agriculture’s net contribution to the environment.