In the framework of the Fight against Climate Change (Goal 13), agriculture proves to be a key sector for reducing carbon emissions. The GECO2 Green Economy and Co2 project, which involves 7 regions on opposite sides of the Adriatic Sea, aims to strengthen the potential capacity of the agricultural sector to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere through better management of soil and crop residues and to offset this virtuous process through the creation of a voluntary carbon credit market.
Financed by the European Interreg Italy-Croatia Programme, the project is developed by an international partnership led by Arpae – Regional Agency for Preservation, Environment and Energy of the Emilia-Romagna region and has among its partners Legacoop Romagna in addition to IAMB, the Marche and Molise regions and the Croatian regions of Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split.
The participation of the cooperative businesses is particularly relevant precisely because of the role that companies will play in the project. The farms, through the adoption of specific cultivation protocols, will commit themselves to maintain eco-friendly farming practices aimed at improving the amount of carbon stored in the soil. The accumulated carbon will be translated into tradable “carbon credits” within a voluntary market.
However, who will be the buyers of the credits generated by virtuous agriculture? The demand side of the voluntary market is represented by the large number of companies that pay more and more attention to reducing the environmental impact of their products or services. Any company that wants to improve its ecological footprint can implement numerous solutions to reduce CO2 emissions: use of renewable energy and reduction of fossil fuels, reduction and improvement of waste management, use of biodegradable raw materials, etc.. The residual share of emissions that cannot be reduced in any other way can be offset by purchasing carbon credits on the voluntary market, achieving the so-called carbon neutrality of the product or service.
In addition to companies, consumers will have a key role to play in rewarding the carbon free products of companies with their choices. The GECO2 project will offer companies that join the voluntary market a CO2 free logo, easily recognizable by consumers, which will signal the neutrality of the product and the company’s commitment to support sustainable agriculture in the area.
The voluntary market can therefore be a win-win formula for everyone: farmers, businesses, citizens and the environment as a whole.