August 2, 2014

Company created to sell carbon credits will shut down

An Iowa-based company that helps farmers buy and sell agricultural carbon credits is making plans to shut down, following the closure of the Chicago Climate Exchange. Dave Miller is Chief Science Officer for Agragate Climate Credits Corporation, based at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

 Miller says the company is winding down operations as the market for voluntary carbon credits never took off as expected with congress failing to take steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. “Congress did not pass that legislation, and the current political climate does not provide any optimism or foresight if you would, that a program that would be regulating carbon in a cap and trade scenario is any time in the near future,” Miller says.

Farmers earn the credits by adopting conservation practices. Miller says the company can’t wait any longer for the situation to change. “For many of us in the program it’s been nothing but expenses for the last year and a half, two years. There’s been very little revenue generated out of carbon credits in the last 18 months,” Miller says.

 Miller says most farmers’ contracts with Agragate will run out by the end of this year. The Chicago Climate Exchange has announced plans to pull out of the cap-and-trade business by the end of the year. Carbon credits on the exchange are tied to voluntary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by industry and agriculture.