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Professor McGlade leads on innovative methodology for the measurement of natural capital


Professor McGlade leads on innovative methodology for the measurement of natural capital

A new high-tech methodology to help farmers track their sustainable activity by Professor McGlade, who teaches at the Institute for Global Prosperity, and the team at Downforce Technologies, a company she co-founded in 2021, has recently been awarded a US patent (Patent No: 11790410).

Soil organic carbon is the world's largest carbon sink, and increasing it at the farm level is vital for achieving sustainability goals, whilst also contributing to soil health and increased productivity. A recent paper published by Prof. McGlade and Professor Kevin Morris found that increasing average soil organic carbon in cropland and pasture by just 1 per cent globally, could lead to carbon sequestration of 311 GtCO2e, the equivalent of the 2030 emissions reductions gap.

Based on a digital twin approach, using data fusion of in situ and remote sensing measurements, the ISO-certified methodology provides an accurate digital tool to measure soil organic carbon.

“Outside the farming sector, many people are not aware just how important soils are to the climate and their potential to help the world transition to net zero,” Prof McGlade said.

“The US patent confirms its invention of a consistent system and methodology to measure natural capital at every scale from farm to continent.”

“This is crucial as nations begin the transformational process of embedding the value of their natural capital assets into the system of national accounts” she continued.

Professor Jacqueline McGlade is Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) and lead scientist for PROCOL Africa. She is a UCL delegate to COP28. She tweets @jacquiemcglade.

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