Soil Carbon Proclamation

American Climate Partners has launched the Soil Carbon Proclamation. The purpose of the Proclamation is to launch a new story about the role of what we call “land” beneath us. The Proclamation will render the perspective that while soil is property, it is alive, perhaps to be considered in the way we think of the ocean, or a forest. These ecosystems we know to sustain us, to nurture us, and they hold a mythical status in most human cultures.

The holy grail however is not just carbon. It is more wisely the carbon cycle functioning as it did before global industrialization. And it’s not just the carbon cycle, but at least also the nitrogen and hydrologic cycles functioning in a pre-industrial manner.

What management restores the C, N, and H2O cycles on their property? How do measure it in a way that is affordable? And perhaps the most difficult aspect of this is the temporal aspect. Regenerative management works at nature’s pace – in 10-20 year time blocks. How do lock in management for such timeframes?

We don’t believe carbon credits will be the only way, in the long run, to incentivize landowners to holistically manage their properties. It is too reductionist. Using the human body as a metaphor, it is the difference between physical therapy and yoga. Both are needed depending on the situation and sometimes in complementary fashion. But right now in the world of soils, while we have “soil health” as a moniker gaining popularity, and this is surely positive, we need management poses – that holistically create better soil health, and don’t require an X-ray and an MRI to prove they work. Biological farming and holistic management are paths forward pointing the way in a more wisdom tradition of plant-soil management. And they are starting to become more mainstream. We need to accelerate this.

In this current moment, something like a carbon gold rush, can we pitch regenerative agriculture as more a mutual fund rather than a stock pick?

The Soil Carbon Proclamation has yet to be written. In the years ahead, American Climate Partners will seek Partners to support the development of the Proclamation, and with luck finding hundreds of signatories to support it. In Virginia, the charge has been set – a Net-Zero CO2 economy by 2045. The Proclamation is one way to transcend this public policy into a non-partisan popular movement.

If you or your organization would like to explore helping us co-create the Proclamation in 2023 and perhaps becoming a signatory, please contact