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Building robust carbon markets – Q&A with Hummingbird

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

Hummingbird Technologies is an artificial intelligence business that provides farmers and agronomists with a suite of maps to help them make informed farm management decisions.
We caught up with Matthew Guinness, VP of Sustainability, who will be presenting at the upcoming event ‘Agri-Tech and ELMs – the Innovation Enablers’.
The ELM scheme looks set to reward growers for storing carbon, as well as boosting local ecosystems – can Hummingbird help in these regards?
“Yes. Hummingbird’s mission is to enable farmers to be rewarded appropriately for the ecosystem benefits they deliver. Our goal is to apply our tools to drive mass adoption of regenerative farming practices.” What sorts of techniques are available?
“We use a range of technologies including satellite-based Earth observation, artificial intelligence and environmental modelling tools to monitor field-level management practices and quantify the outcomes they deliver. Whether through carbon credit programmes, other ecosystem service markets or agri-food supply chain initiatives, these monitoring and verification tools enable systems that reward farmers for practices that improve outcomes for biodiversity, water and climate change.”
How can Hummingbird ensure that carbon credits are valid and founded on robust science? Are baseline assessments an important part of this?
“Baseline assessments are indeed an important component of quantifying and modelling changes in carbon or other greenhouse gases. Buyers of carbon credits need to be confident that the credits they are paying for are real, verified and meet thresholds for “additionality”* and permanence. Hummingbird does not provide soil samples ourselves, since we focus on the scalable and cost-effective remote sensing components of monitoring and verification. However, we recognise that there is a place for more detailed in-field measurement, especially during the baseline assessment phase of project development and that a range of approaches is needed to build robust, credible and scientifically rigorous markets for carbon and other ecosystem services.”
*‘Additionality’ in a project means that the changes (e.g. GHG reductions) achieved by the project need to be in addition to what would have happened if the project had not been carried out. This is a key concept in many carbon certification programmes.
Matthew is presenting at the event ‘Agri-Tech and ELMS – the Innovation Enablers’ on Tuesday 22nd March.
Reserve your place here.