Illinois is the first state to offer producers and other landowners the opportunity to earn and sell greenhouse gas emissions credits by adopting various conservation practices. These practices limit airborne levels of carbon dioxide and methane.

 The new project is called the Illinois Conservation and Climate Initiative. It’s being implemented in partnership with the Chicago Climate Exchange, the Delta Institute and an Advisory Committee that represents Illinois agriculture and conservation groups.

CCX allows the carbon benefits from these conservation practices to be quantified, credited and sold to its members, including large companies, municipalities and institutions, that have made a commitment to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and wish to do so by purchasing "carbon offset credits."

The Delta Institute is responsible for collecting the credits from many different producers and landowners in order to sell them in large blocks to CCX members. State agencies, including the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, are conducting outreach and education to identify producers who want to voluntarily participate.

Eligible conservation practices - such as conservation tillage, planting grasses and trees, and capturing methane with manure digesters - enhance the environment by creating wildlife habitat and limiting soil and nutrient run-off to streams and lakes.

Illinois Department of Agriculture