There are several directions the new industry could go in the coming years, according to Alejandro Plastina, an economist at Iowa State University. In a paper Plastina recently wrote with Oranuch Wongpiyaboyorn and John Crespi, four possible scenarios were envisioned.
One would be that corporate demand for carbon credits is high and sustained and this becomes the equivalent of the next cash crop, pumping dollars into agriculture to fight climate change. The second possibility is that the market takes the low-hanging fruit, rewarding some practices but not really becoming a long-term large income stream.
A third scenario is that taxpayers would pump money into the idea and subsidization would be the norm.
And the fourth possibility is that the market gradually fizzles out and the opportunity to put money in the agricultural economy and boost carbon sequestration becomes a missed opportunity.
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Capital Press, April 15