News Releases

SCCC concerned with "Carbon Pricing Policy for Canada" report

Indian Head, Sask., April 27, 2009:

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) says it has serious concerns with the recently released National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) report entitled "Achieving 2050: A Carbon Pricing Policy for Canada."

SCCC has been proposing no-till soil practices be recognized in a national carbon offset system for a number of years, says Don McCabe, SCCC president. "SCCC has participated in the development of soil management protocols that are science-based, verifiable and account for any reversal risk. However, the recently released report by the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) is recommending that domestic carbon offsets should be phased out by 2015."

Agriculture contributes less than 10 percent of Canadian greenhouse gases. However, agriculture could provide up to 20 percent of the solution by adopting practices such as direct seeding to sequester carbon in the soil, says McCabe. "It would be extremely unfortunate if soil carbon was not part of an offset system to assist Canada's future plans to reduce greenhouse gases.

"The NRTEE report does not recognize the contribution that Canadian farmers could make to the reduction in greenhouse gases and it shows a lack of understanding of soil carbon sequestration," he says. "The report states a significant portion of agricultural emissions come from agricultural soil management, while in fact farmers have been sequestering carbon and soils have become a net sink for carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

The recommendation to end Canadian domestic carbon offsets by 2015 is contrary to growing international acceptance of the soil sequestration of carbon, says McCabe. "The U.S. currently has a carbon offset system that provides income to farmers, who voluntarily participate, for the carbon they sequester in the soil." McCabe recently attended a United Nations meeting in Bonn, Germany where the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported on the global mitigation potential of carbon sequestration.

The NRTEE report recognizes the benefits of a market based cap and trade system; however, the recommendation to address agriculture emissions through regulations and technology policies ignores the potential of agriculture to reduce greenhouse gases in Canada, and the ecological goods and services this provides.

SCCC is the face and voice of soil conservation in Canada.

For more information, contact:

Don McCabe, President
Soil Conservation Council of Canada
Ph: (519) 331-6175