The European Commission organised the 2nd Carbon Farming Roundtable, which took place on 23 and 24 September 2020, from 9:00 to 12:30 CET, and was live-streamed.
The event was a follow up of the 1st Carbon Farming Roundtable, which was held on 9th October 2019 in Brussels. The first Roundtable brought together about 70 policy, scientific and legal experts, who discussed the main elements of carbon farming in Europe, with a particular emphasis on result-based mechanisms, i.e. payment schemes where farmers are remunerated based on the carbon benefits they provide through their agricultural practices.
During the 2nd Roundtable, the results of the study “Analytical support for the operationalisation of an EU Carbon Farming Initiative” were presented. The study, led by COWI and carried out by COWI, Ecologic and the Institute for European Environmental Policy, explored key issues, challenges, trade-offs and design options to develop result-based carbon farming mechanisms, based on the analysis of existing evidence on carbon farming initiatives across the EU. The study focused on five thematic areas: agroforestry, peatlands, grassland, whole farm audits, and the maintenance and enhancement of soil organic carbon in mineral soils. The discussion in the 2nd Roundtable focused mainly on carbon farming for peatlands and agroforestry, also with interventions on regenerative agriculture, which are considered the most promising thematic areas at this stage.
The study authors presented their results and best practice recommendations, which were discussed by experts in the implementation and assessment of climate mitigation actions in agriculture, including experts on agricultural soil research and national carbon inventories, as well as practitioners with experience on the ground.
In addition, practitioners presented their carbon farming projects, followed by a discussion with an audience of more than one hundred experts. The experts’ feedback will feed into a guidance manual on carbon farming that the project team is currently preparing.