Conservation Partnership Launches First Ever Credit Transaction to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agriculture

Portland, OR (February 19, 2014) – The Climate Trust and Delta Institute today announced a new effort to reward farmers for reducing the environmental impacts of their nitrogen fertilizer practices. Delta Institute of Chicago and its partners will work with farmers across the Midwest to encourage voluntary changes to fertilizer applications to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, while maintaining crop yields.


Through careful adjustments in nitrogen (N) fertilizer application, participating farmers can generate revenue from reducing the harmful impact of N2O while achieving cost savings through increased fertilizer efficiency. The modified fertilizer practices will also provide benefits to both air and water quality. Delta will quantify the emission reductions, verify them with a third party, and list the credits on the American Carbon Registry. The Climate Trust will purchase and then retire the credits. Profits from the sales will be returned to the farmer, marking the first-of-its-kind credit transaction to reduce agricultural N2O emissions.


“The Climate Trust has confidence in the agricultural sector, and this as the first nutrient management offset transaction is a strong signal to the carbon markets. The Climate Trust is always looking for ways to support climate innovations that hold great promise,” states Sean Penrith, Executive Director of The Climate Trust.


Delta Institute has over 8 years of experience in aggregating and trading credits through environmental markets. Delta CEO Jean Pogge said, “Delta is thrilled to have the opportunity to build on our soil carbon trading work and to demonstrate that environmental sustainability can move markets. This partnership will yield measurable benefits for the climate, and serve as a national model for how the power of market incentives can bring economic returns to participating farmers while building a healthier environment.”


This transaction, and the partnership between Delta Institute and The Climate Trust, represent a successful result of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant program. “Projects like this show that environmental improvement, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and increased yields are not mutually exclusive,” said Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment. “By implementing nitrogen conservation practices, agricultural producers can limit the amount of nitrogen released into the air and downstream waters, and also find new ways to generate income.”


The Delta Nitrogen Credit Program will focus on corn farmers in the North Central Region, spanning twelve states from Ohio to the Dakotas. Delta Institute is heading a coalition of organizations to reach farmers throughout this geography, including American Farmland Trust, Conservation Technology Information Center, Environmental Defense Fund, and agricultural retailers.


For more information on this program and how to participate, please contact Delta Institute or visit


About Delta Institute: Delta Institute works throughout the Great Lakes region to build environmental resilience, economic vitality and healthy communities via the creation and implementation of market-driven solutions. In 2005, Delta Institute launched its Carbon Program to help Illinois and Michigan farmers and forest owners sell their carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange platform. Over 5 years, the program expanded to 18 states and returned over $2 million to landowners as a result of Delta trading over 650,000 tons of carbon emissions stored in soils and trees. Additional information at | @TransformGreen |


About The Climate Trust: The Climate Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with over 16 years of carbon financing experience. Our mission is to provide expertise, financing, and inspiration to accelerate innovative climate solutions that endure. In order to arrest the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, The Climate Trust works to accelerate project implementation, develop financing solutions, and establish a supportive policy environment in the renewable energy, agriculture, forestry and energy efficiency sectors. Additional information at | @ClimateTrust |



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