Current carbon pricing and trading mechanisms, despite their efficacy in reducing GHG emissions from industry, will not be sufficient to achieve Net Zero targets. Current mechanisms that redress emissions are largely economic disincentives, in effect financial penalties for emitters. In order to attain Net Zero futures, financial incentives for activities that sequester carbon from the atmosphere are needed. Herein, we present the environmental and economic co-benefits of soil re-carbonization and justify support for soil carbon remuneration. With increasing momentum to develop green economies, and projected increases in carbon price, growth in the global carbon market is inevitable. The establishment of a soil-based carbon economy, within this emerging financial space, has the potential to deliver a paradigm shift that will accelerate climate change mitigation, and concurrently realize net gains for soil health and the delivery of soil ecosystem services. Pivotal to the emergence of a global soil carbon economy will be a consensus on certification instruments used for long-term soil carbon storage, and the development of robust institutional agreements and processes to facilitate soil carbon trading.
Original languageEnglish
Article number202305
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number4
Early online date14 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • carbon sequestration
  • payment
  • re-carbonization
  • soil carbon
  • soil carbon economics
  • soil ecosystem services

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