Carbon offsetting as a means of financing water quality PES

Application to work in progress on the Lac au Duc catchment.


In the Lac au Duc catchment, the degradation of water quality by the erosion of agricultural soils containing phosphorus is a crucial issue. The establishment of a private-private type Payment for Environmental Services (PES) mechanism is envisaged to encourage farmers to adopt anti-erosion practices having the capacity to store carbon in soils. This study aims to assess the conditions allowing this carbon offset service to be combined with the PES mechanism designed to improve the water quality, knowing that this service is more privileged than the "water quality" service by companies. To do this, the valuation of carbon and the potential of engagement of companies and farmers are analyzed through a bibliographic summary and interviews with the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Brittany Association of Agri-Food Companies.

The results show that the valuation associated with the additional carbon storage capacity of the attributes is likely to cover between 0.2 and 37 % of farmers' consent to receive. To converge supply and demand, farmers will need to modify their supply either by paying part of the carbon offsetting as emitters themselves and beneficiaries of environmental services, or by proposing the establishment of anti-erosion attributes that store more carbon, and therefore could be better valued financially. On the private companies side, the environmental sensitivity of managers is the main lever identified to encourage them to engage in a voluntary carbon offset market.

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