The Kyoto Protocol, as well as similar laws in the US place caps on greenhouse gas production as well as creating the carbon credit system. This opened the new market of carbon farming and carbon sequestration. Carbon farming is the alteration of farming practices to keep more carbon dioxide sequestered in the soil and plant matter; this can come to fruition through plowing fields less often, or through planting additional crops without the intention of harvest (most commonly trees). The carbon captured in these methods can be “sold” as carbon credits, with estimates of the carbon they will sequester for years to come. These investments aren’t garaunteed though, they could easily under perform, burn down in a forest fire, or in three years (when the land has changed hands) be burned for fuel. Either way, this is not a well regulated system at present, and if it is to work in the long run it will need stronger oversight and a stricter definition of the methods acceptable for carbon sequestration.
Carbon Farming: the new green crop