A Fertilizer Trading Market? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


A Fertilizer Trading Market?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Financially rewarding farmers for using the best fertilizer management practices can simultaneously benefit water quality and help combat climate change, finds a new study by the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER).

The researchers conclude that setting up a “trading market,” where farmers earn financial incentives for investing in eco-friendly techniques, would result in a double environmental benefit – reducing fertilizer run-off destined for the Chesapeake Bay, while at the same time capturing carbon dioxide headed for the atmosphere.

The study, Multiple Ecosystem Markets in Maryland, advises the state’s Department of the Environment how to set up a “nutrient trading market,” as proposed in the 2008 state climate action plan. This nutrient trading would operate alongside markets that sell carbon dioxide credits. The CIER study examines the effects of operating both markets simultaneously.

In these markets, farmers who reduce pollutants below a set level would earn credits. They would sell these credits to other operators, such as sewage and water treatment facilities or power plants that have difficulty meeting environmental targets. No direct government subsidies would be involved.

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