The International Olive Council (IOC) has created a strategic work area focused on the carbon balance of the olive grove. In this way, it is contributing to the development of methodological and political frameworks that will enable the climate objectives established by the United Nations to be achieved. Furthermore, this design will provide its Member States with recognised, validated and user-friendly tools.

Within the work area, an international workshop entitled “Carbon balance of the olive sector: part of the solution against climate change” was held at the IOC headquarters in Madrid from 17 to 19 October, with the possibility of attending by videoconference. This meeting brought together experts with joint interests in carbon balance assessment, CO2 elimination, carbon credit markets, etc. in order to analyse the possibility of creating a platform to reflect on these issues.

During the day participants exchanged experiences and reflected on the position of the olive oil and table olive sector in terms of its contribution to achieving the ‘CO2 neutrality’ objectives, in order to assess the current situation in the search for the benefit of the olive grove. Furthermore, the panel of experts was asked the question whether it is possible to develop a methodology to assess the carbon balance and obtained an average answer of 3.53/5, which can be extrapolated to mean that there is a consensus.

On the other hand, the expert panel defined the main priorities identified for this work as being: to consider how to establish basic criteria for the olive sector; to develop a methodology to assess the carbon balance of the olive grove; to define a model of CO2 absorption capacity in olive groves; and to consider how to adapt the quality criteria (quantification, additionality, long-term storage, sustainability) to the olive sector.

In fact, more than 90% of the participants considered that the IOC should provide solid methodologies and tools based on scientific evidence and facilitate access to these tools; and more than 80% even considered that it is the most appropriate body to define the guidelines to be followed in the future olive carbon credit market.

In short, the olive sector has a great opportunity to bet on its profitability, therefore, the objective is that society associates the olive grove to the whole concept of sustainability, being an effective strategy against climate change:Olive oil is good for health and for the environment“. 

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