It seems that every week a new agribusiness, consumer packaged goods company, bank, technology corporation, celebrity or Facebook friend announces support for regenerative agriculture.
For those of us working on climate and / or agricultural solutions for the last few decades, this is exciting and worrying.
To be a part of something so important, details and hard work, incremental progress and triumphs, as well as big, hairy problems, can be ignored or forgotten. When a lot of people are swinging for the fence, it’s easy to forget that singles and doubles usually win the game.
As the Managing Partner and Founder of DBL Partners, I have particularly sought to invest from companies that not only have business models, but also solutions to the biggest problems on the planet. I believe that agriculture can be a major climate solution while feeding a growing population.
At the same time, I want to spark publicity, refine the conversation and use the example of agriculture to create a productive template for all business sectors with carbon to fight climate change.
First, regenerators define agriculture: it covers practices such as cover cropping and conservation tillage, which, among other things, build soil health, increase water retention, and include sester and abate carbon .
The widespread enthusiasm around regenerative agriculture is associated with its ability to mitigate climate impacts on a scale. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine an estimate The accumulation of that soil has the potential to eliminate 250 million metric tons of CO2 per year, Equivalent For 5% of US emissions.
It is important to remember that regenerative practice is not new. Conservationists have advocated cover cropping and reduced tillage for decades, and farmers have led the charge.
Today these practices are considered to be the cause of new reverence, when executed on a large scale, with new technology and innovation, they have demonstrated the ability of agriculture to lead the fight against climate change.
So how do we empower farmers in this carbon fight?
Today, offset markets receive the most attention. Several private, voluntary markets for clay carbon have appeared over the years, mostly supported by corporations driven by carbon neutrality commitments that offset their carbon emissions with credit purchases.
The offset market is an important step towards making agriculture a catalyst for large-scale climate solutions; Organizations supporting private carbon markets build capacity and economic incentives to reduce emissions.
“Farming Carbon” will drive the demand for new technology such as regenerative finance mechanisms, data analytics tools and nitrogen-fixing organic – all indispensable to adopt regenerative practices and spur innovation and entrepreneurship and maximize impact.
It is these advances, not the carbon credit offsets themselves, that will permanently reduce agricultural emissions.
Offsets are a start, but they are only part of the solution. Whether generated by forestry, renewable energy, transportation, or agriculture, must be purchased by organizations year after year, and not necessarily reduce the buyer’s footprint.
Essentially, each business sector needs to directly remove its footprint or create an “inset” by reducing emissions within its supply chain. The challenge is, it is not yet financially viable or logically possible for every organization.
For organizations that buy and process agricultural products – from food companies to renewable fuel producers – soil carbon offsets can reduce emissions indirectly, while also funding strategies that reduce emissions directly, starting at the farm it occurs.
DBL invests in companies that operate on both sides of the coin: fundamentally building more efficient and less carbon-intensive agribusiness supply chains, facilitating carbon offset generation of soil and establishing a credit market. .
This approach is a smart investment for agricultural players looking to mitigate their climate impact. The business model also creates demand for environmental services from farmers with real living power.
Back in 2006, when DBL first invested in Tesla, we had no idea that we would help create a worldwide movement to stop transportation from fossil fuels.
Now, it is the turn of agriculture. Based on innovations in science, big data, financing and farmer networking, investing in regenerative agriculture promises to eliminate the carbon footprint of farming while rewarding farmers for their leadership.
Future generations will take advantage of this change and ask, “What have you done for so long?”