International trust backs Australian soil carbon system

AgriProve MD Matthew Warnken

The Grantham Environmental Trust has invested in AgriProve, an Australian agricultural startup to commercialise soil carbon solutions that improve agricultural productivity while sequestering carbon and mitigating climate change.

The deal between the Grantham Trust’s Neglected Climate Opportunities program and the innovative Australian company will be worth AU$2.5 million when fully exercised as part of an initial seeding round of investment.

“The investment from the Grantham Trust is a recognition of the global potential of soil carbon as a means of reversing global warming, and a vote of confidence in the potential for AgriProve to provide a commercial model for building soil carbon at scale,” managing director of AgriProve Matthew Warnken said.

Related article:World’s first soil carbon project to earn credits under Paris

The US-based Grantham Environmental Trust, founded by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham, is a major funder of initiatives to reverse climate change.

“Soil carbon is the largest terrestrial sink of greenhouse gas emissions with enormous potential for mitigating climate change”, Investment Officer for the Grantham Environmental Trust Eric Smith said.

“We are investing to see how quickly AgriProve can scale the soil carbon solution in Australia as success here will help advance adoption throughout the rest of the world.”

AgriProve is a special-purpose vehicle set up to mainstream soil carbon farming and is a spinoff of leading Australian carbon abatement contractor Corporate Carbon

In mid-March Australia’s first soil carbon credits were issued under the federal government’s AU$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) for AgriProve’s flagship project in eastern Victoria. They were also the first soil carbon credits globally to be eligible under a national target in accordance with The Paris Agreement.

Funds from the investment will be used to support the deployment of farmer led initiatives to fast track soil carbon project registrations, roll out the AgriProve Soilkee System and mainstream soil carbon as a pathway to agricultural productivity and improved water management.

Australia has unique conditions in which to hothouse the commercialisation of soil carbon developments and large-scale carbon abatement. It is the only nation to have a measurement-based methodology that covers all forms of agriculture under a government based regulatory framework. This is coupled with a government-backed market for the resulting carbon credits via the ERF.

Australia accounts for half of all measurement based soil carbon projects globally and this leadership position is due in large part to bipartisan support for carbon farming domestically. The Neglected Climate Opportunities investment in AgriProve will help build Australia as a test case for the development of soil carbon farming at scale, which can then be adopted internationally.