In New York, the Environmental Defense Fund announced the first ever carbon credits generated from rice farmers were sold to Microsoft. The credits were generated by forward-thinking farmers who tested out a radical idea – that by implementing conservation methods on their crops, they could reduce methane emissions and thereby generate a carbon credit that could be later sold on the carbon market.
Testing out the feasibility of the voluntary rice protocol revealed several hurdles for growers to participate, but it also provided a proof of concept that changes in farm management can reduce emissions, create carbon credits and reduce water use by as much as 30 percent.
Because of these farmers, we were able to learn what works and what doesn’t and spur the development of a grasslands protocol. And now, their leadership has led to an opportunity to generate credits at scale through a new nitrogen fertilizer management protocol.