Green Alliance adds climate mitigation to Natural Infrastructure Scheme possibilities

In the latest of a series of joint reports, Green Alliance and the National Trust said the scheme they originally advocated to facilitate ecosystem services from “slow, clean water” could also support climate change mitigation.

According to the green groups, a Natural Infrastructure Scheme (NIS), a mechanism to lever private money for positive environmental land management such as to prevent floods and improve water quality, could also be used to achieve land based carbon reductions. “We argue that offering land based carbon credits alongside other marketable benefits, through the NIS mechanism, will increase both the number of projects that can contribute to climate change mitigation, and the environmental value of privately funded schemes which help to deliver the goals of the 25 year environment plan.”

In the new report, Green Alliance and National Trust urged the government to:

• increase private sector demand for land based carbon credits, by conducting a systematic review of the options for boosting domestic demand for land based carbon credits;

• fund a new Farming and Soil Carbon Code, providing a strategic framework for farmers and land managers to generate carbon credits in the forthcoming emissions reduction plan for agriculture; and

• demonstrate how environmental projects with multiple benefits can lever in private investment by using tests and trials for the new Environmental Land Management system to show how the government could be included as a ‘buyer’ in schemes such as the NIS alongside private sector buyers. It should also publish clear guidelines on how, when and where private funding can be used to complement the new public payments system.