Cargill has become among the first major agribusiness firms to sell carbon emissions offsets derived from its farming operations.
Cargill is not using its vast land holdings as a carbon sink for the offsets. Rather, offsets come from a wastewater treatment system at Cargill’s plant in High River, Alberta, which capture methane from the plant’s wastewater lagoons for fuel. As a result, the system uses 25 percent less natural gas.
In 2008, Conde Nast called Cargill the second-worst polluter
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently said that U.S. agriculture should be allowed to sell carbon offsets under the final U.S. climate legislation, according to Reuters.
Vilsack, who has pointed to the potential income for farmers and ranchers from a cap-and-trade system, would like USDA to oversee the agriculture portion of carbon offsetting, because it has more rural offices than the EPA.