Soils rich in organic carbon are associated with enhanced agricultural productivity, water cycling, biodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation. But despite the important role they can play in fighting climate change, to date soils have largely been missing from carbon markets.
There are signs that the future may be more promising. This study assesses the specific situation of soil carbon—its position in climate policymaking, the specific challenges, and the opportunities for intervention. It does so to explore to what extent carbon project finance tools can help advance the ability of soil carbon to make a meaningful contribution to climate change mitigation, providing multiple co-benefits. By taking the voluntary market as the lens, it also serves to inform the wider fate and utility of land sector carbon projects within the evolving political framework of the Paris Agreement.