Coalition asks CARB to recognize climate practices of farming practices within LCFS

January 13, 2022 |

In California, in a cosigned letter, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), along with the Great Plains Institute, Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, the National Biodiesel Board, and Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, recommended the California Air Resources Board (CARB) recognize the climate benefits of farming practices in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

The letter provides principles for farm-level carbon intensity (CI) accounting originally developed through the work of the Midwestern Clean Fuels Initiative.

“…CARB would take a leading role in incentivizing carbon-smart farming practices in all locations that grow feedstock for LCFS fuel pathways, build knowledge regarding the short- and long-term effectiveness of various SCS [soil carbon sequestration] strategies, and speed fulfillment of California’s aggressive decarbonization goals,” the letter reads.

Quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for biofuel feedstocks from farm practices and assigning corresponding CI scores results in major policy benefits, including:

Compensating farmers, on a purely voluntary basis, for climate-smart farming practices; and Helping achieve scale more quickly and offering significant near-term GHG emission reductions compared to private programs with less attractive carbon prices for farmers.

Guiding principles set forth in the group letter to achieve these and other benefits, include:

On-farm conservation measures should be voluntary and not required.

Continuous improvements in climate-smart farming practices should be incentivized.

Protocol design should strike a balance between precision and cost for farmers and producers. CARB should develop strategies for verification of practices that minimize cost where possible while still ensuring outcomes.

GHG lifecycle assessment, including the assessment of climate-smart framing practices, should be non-proprietary, transparent, verifiable, and repeatable.

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