Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to offer farmers and other landowners the opportunity to earn and sell greenhouse gas emissions credits by adopting conservation practices that limit levels of carbon dioxide and methane.
The Illinois Conservation and Climate Initiative a joint venture between the Chicago Climate Exchange, the Delta Institute, and an advisory committee composed of Illinois agriculture and conservation groups.
CCX is the only legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction and trading system in the US. CCX allows the carbon benefits from conservation practices to be quantified, credited and sold to its members, including large companies, municipalities, and institutions, that have made a commitment to reduce their emissions.
The Delta Institute is a nonprofit that promotes environmental quality and community economic development. They are responsible for "aggregating" the credits from many different farmers and landowners in order to sell them in large blocks to CCX members. State agencies, including the Illinois EPA and Illinois DNR, are conducting outreach and education to identify farmers who want to voluntarily participate.
The program positions Illinois farmers to take advantage of the emerging market in emission offsets. Although the value of these credits usually represents a modest income, that could change. Carbon credits are much more valuable in Europe and Asia where mandatory greenhouse gas limits have been adopted.
environment, Illinois, climate change, greenhouse