Chapter 10.2.1 Strategic approaches

Cease soil carbon trading

The carbon in Scotland’s agricultural soils should not be traded until further notice.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

Given the agricultural soil carbon market’s lack of maturity, farmers and land managers in Scotland should not be selling soil carbon sequestration to outside investors. There are risks of farmers reducing the value of their land and making it harder to sell if they have already sold their soil carbon rights. Also, selling those rights outwith Scottish agriculture means the credit does not appear either on the farm account (so the farm cannot claim, for example, to be ‘carbon positive’) or on the national account.

There should be a moratorium on trading in agricultural soil carbon in Scotland until a fair and credible scheme is in place. There should be a presumption that any soil carbon sequestration benefits should be retained within Scottish agriculture.

For further information:

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.