Soils as Carbon Sink - Business Models for Climate Goals


 (c) Thünen-Institut/OL

Carbon farming

Agricultural soils have high potential to bind additional carbon and can contribute to climate protection. Preserving and enrichment of humus will protect or build up soil fertility. How farmers can adapt their cropland management and how they might be might be paid for this eco-service is analysed in the INTERREG project ‘Carbon Farming’ with participation of the Thünen Institute of Organic Farming.

Background and Objective

Together with farmers the European partners from advisory and research in the North Sea Region will show different possibilities to enrich carbon in soils.
Additionally business models enabling payments to farmers for their activities to enrich carbon in their soils shall be evaluated and developed.


Three main lines are followed in the project:

1 Carbon enrichment in soils
Practical approaches to increase carbon binding in soils shall be demonstrated and the knowledge and awareness of farmers about these processes shall be raised. For this field experiments and demonstration plots as well as workshops for information and discussion are arranged in the participating regions.

During the project carbon content and carbon stock in soils in the explored fields are determined. Biomass and carbon flows of different promising measures for carbon enrichment will be followed. These data help to understand the slow enrichment processes in organic soil carbon. Furthermore it shall be explored in how far business models paying for those carbon increases in soils can be based on measured values or should focus on the activities that are undertaken for improvements. This work package is coordinated by the Thünen-Institute of Organic Farming.

2 Business models to valorise carbon enrichment in soils
Current initiatives and programs paying farmers for carbon enrichments in soils are collected. Also new persons, companies and stakeholders are sought to develop baselines for new business models for this.

3 Case studies and transfer in practice
Promising business models for carbon enrichment in soils shall be validated in case studies. Its ecological and economic effects shall be analysed. The knowledge gained in the project shall be made available to farmers and companies, stakeholders and politicians in and outside agribusiness

Links and Downloads

Results of the Workshop "Carbon Farming" held on 05.03.2020 in Hamburg, pleas click Sie here (in German)

Report "Inventory of Techniques for Sequestation of Carbon in Agricultural Soils" online: In this report the authors from the INTERREG Carbon Farming project collected pracitival knowledge on suitable techniques an dpotentioals to bind more carbon in farm soils.
please download (pdf): Inventory of Techniques for Sequestation of Carbon in Agricultural Soils


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • European Union (EU)
    (international, öffentlich)


9.2018 - 8.2021

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


hits: 0