Sell Carbon Credits from Carbon Offsets on Your Land

Sell Carbon Credits from Carbon Offsets on Your Land

With a recent spike in green initiatives, the act of removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from our atmosphere is picking up steam. As pressure increases on corporations to become more environmentally conscious, private land is becoming an appealing way for them to meet tightening government environmental regulations through carbon offsets and a great way for you to make extra income on your land from the carbon it is already storing.

Companies need to offset their carbon emissions. One example of a carbon offset is the financing of carbon removal and reduction projects. And those types of projects can take place on your property and put money in your pocket. How much money? LandGate provides a free Carbon LandEstimate™ to show you what your land could be worth if you sell the carbon credits from carbon offsets on your land.

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What is Carbon Sequestration?

Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce its presence in the atmosphere. You may also see carbon sequestration referred to as carbon storage, carbon capture and storage, or CO2 storage. There are three main types of carbon sequestration:

Biological Carbon Sequestration: Carbon captured through photosynthesis and is stored in vegetation, soils, woody products, oceans, grasslands and forests.
Geological Carbon Sequestration: The storage of carbon in geologic formations such as saline formations, depleted or nearly depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and coal seams.
Technological Carbon Sequestration: This newer method uses technological innovations such as graphene production, engineered molecules, and Direct Air Capture.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Can My Soil Store?

Agricultural land in the US has the capacity to sequester 650 million metric tons of CO2 every year 1. Agricultural land comprises approximately 40% crop land, 35% forests and 25% grazing land. When looking specifically at soils, they are not all the same. For instance, depending on the percentage of organic matter, some soils are storing up to 8 tons of CO2 per acre at a depth of 10”.

CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil carbon pool. This soil carbon pool is often called the Soil Organic Carbon (SOC). Soils have between 2 and 10% of organic matter, which is called Soil Organic Matter (SOM). SOC includes only the carbon component of organic matters, where SOM is the content of all organic matters even those that don’t have carbon. SOC is easier to measure in labs than SOM, and it is more relevant to carbon sequestration.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the factors that affect the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by soil:

  • Soil type
  • SOC current content (and remaining absorption capacity)
  • Soil hydric content
  • Rainfall
  • Grade / slope
  • Soil erosion
  • Usage of the soil:
    • Tilling, overgrazing, nutrient depletion, intensive soil disturbance, and erosion deplete soil of its carbon content.
    • Regenerative agriculture and managed grasslands will see higher carbon storage.

You can access the most accurate mapping of soils in the US on LandGate. Our scientists have used advanced techniques to integrate all these factors and more into estimating the carbon storage values in “Carbon per ton per year” (ton of CO2/ac/yr) of your land, including soil and tree coverage. You can also find, for free, how much you can make every year selling carbon credits from your land. Search for your parcel by zip, city, or county to view the exact soil types on your land as well as for each parcel in the US.

The absorption of carbon over very large areas of soils can add up considerably to reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It can generate revenues for landowners who manage soils in order to maximize CO2 sequestration and want to restore America’s land to what it once was.

Map of soil types for carbon storage
Map of soil types for carbon offsets on landgate.com.

How Can Landowners Make Money from Carbon Credits?

Reducing greenhouse gases such as CO2 benefits everyone. As a landowner, these carbon offset methods can make you extra income. And this income is not contingent upon you making radical changes to your land, as it is already storing carbon naturally. Land is proving to be valuable for biological carbon sequestration, mainly in soil. Soil carbon sequestration, also known as “carbon farming” or “regenerative agriculture”, is the act of removing carbon from the environment to store in soil beneath land. Scientists have estimated that soils, mostly agricultural ones, could sequester over a billion additional tons of carbon each year.

Emitters of greenhouse gases such as CO2 are having to comply with government regulations to reduce emissions. Therefore, it’s these companies who are looking to pay landowners like you for your carbon credits. And your land can store carbon alongside other types of “green” leases, such as leasing your land for a
wind farm or solar farm.

For example, a landowner could receive royalties from a wind farm on their land while receiving carbon credits from carbon offsets, and using regenerative grazing techniques to feed cattle. Another landowner may earn carbon credits by managing their land and also receive royalties from a solar farm, while also growing flowers for bees. Carbon offsets do not tie up your land so it can still be used for a variety of surface activities.

Land Value – Carbon Credits for Carbon Offsets

How many carbon credits you can earn will depend mainly on the size of your land, the soil conditions (as mentioned above) and tree cover, as carbon dioxide is also stored in trees. Climate, such as temperature and moisture, also play a large role, as rainfall will help increase the input of carbon to soil and will be more valuable than soil in dry climates.

As of July 2021, a carbon credit trades for around $16 per metric ton of carbon dioxide stored. Depending on your land’s location, its soil type, and the tree canopy, it can absorb between 0.5 and >5 ton/ac/yr. A carbon offset is a certificate that represents the reduction of one metric ton (or 2,204.6 lbs) of CO2 or its equivalent of other greenhouse gases. The carbon price (carbon credit pricing) is predicted to increase tenfold by 2030. So in 2030, you could be making as much as $1,000,000 per year one one thousand acres of land!

Locate your land on landgate.com and you can claim ownership on our map to see your Carbon LandEstimate™. If you are interested in selling your carbon credits, LandGate can make it happen. We can help you find the value of your land for carbon offsets, certify carbon credits, and sell carbon credits. And there are many benefits to doing so:

  • Make extra income off of your land without changing anything
  • Your land is already storing carbon!
  • Improve the health and resilience of your soil
  • Retain full surface use of your land and the ability to lease your land for farming, ranching, or recreational purposes
  • Make your positive impact on the environment

Claim ownership of your parcel now or contact us for more information!

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1. Soil Science Society of America. (2009, April 9). Farmers, Foresters Can Play Key Role in Managing Carbon [News release]. Retrieved from https://www.soils.org/news/media-releases/releases/2009/0409/255/
2. Paustian et al. (2019, Oct 16). Soil C Sequestration as a Biological Negative Emission Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fclim.2019.00008/full

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