Meat & Livestock News

Navigating Carbon Markets: Rights and Considerations for Tenant Farmers

Carbon neutrality concept. Carbon dioxide reduction. CO2 gas emissions balance with carbon absorbed by trees and carbon capture technology. CO2 neutral balancing scale. Factory and transport pollution

In the evolving landscape of private environmental markets, tenant farmers face varying eligibility criteria depending on the scheme they wish to join.

These schemes range from those open to tenants without restrictions, to those requiring landlord consent, and some that necessitate a tenancy agreement exceeding five years. It’s crucial for tenant farmers to thoroughly review different schemes or seek advice to understand their accessibility to rented land.

Specifically, the two regulated schemes in the voluntary market, the Peatland Carbon Code and the Woodland Carbon Code have distinct rules for tenant participation. The Peatland Carbon Code mandates written consent from the landowner, including an agreement to transfer the project’s obligation to the landowner if the tenancy concludes before the project’s completion.

Similarly, the Woodland Carbon Code requires the landowner’s commitment for the project duration and beyond, prohibiting tenants from entering a woodland creation scheme without the landlord’s written consent.

The general advice for tenant farmers is to engage with landlords early if they aim to enter private environmental markets. It’s important to negotiate responsibilities regarding carbon and other environmental goods, considering the long-term commitments required by these contracts.

One challenge highlighted is the restriction in some tenancy agreements to use land solely for agricultural purposes. However, tenant farmers can still participate in activities like carbon sequestration and nutrient neutrality, which can be integrated with farming.

The Rock Review points out that while landlords own pre-existing natural capital, the management and enhancement of this capital, often undertaken by tenants, are crucial. Therefore, tenants should be compensated for maintaining and enhancing natural capital on the land. This opens the possibility for joint landlord-tenant agreements in both public and private sectors.

For tenant farmers to effectively participate in environmental markets, it’s essential to understand the specifics of schemes related to tenanted land, review current tenancy agreements, and engage with landlords for consent or collaboration on projects.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) continues to provide updates and analysis on carbon markets, with more information available on their Carbon Markets webpage.

For further inquiries regarding carbon markets, AHDB encourages reaching out via email. This article was produced with insights from the Tenants Farmers Association.