Growing Climate Solutions Act introduced in U.S. Senate
On April 22, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which creates a certification program at USDA to help facilitate farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets, according to a press release from Braun.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) supports the bill, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia) is among the bill’s cosponsors.
“AFBF welcomes the introduction of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which builds on the strong foundation of environmental stewardship in American agriculture by providing more clarity and guidance for farmers and ranchers as they explore or expand participation in carbon markets,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. .
The bill creates an online “One-Stop Shop” for farmers, ranchers and foresters interested in carbon markets to help them get their foot in the door.
The bill also establishes a USDA Certification for private parties that farmers work with to generate and ultimately sell their carbon credits.
Finally, the bill commits to including farmers and other climate stakeholders on USDA’s Advisory Council.
Meanwhile, agriculture fared well in an annual report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The newest annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report from the Environmental Protection Agency offers a sector-by-sector look at emissions. According to AFBF Economist Shelby Myers, the report includes good news for agriculture.
“For agriculture, we stayed relatively neutral compared to last year,” Myers said in the April 22 edition of AFBF’s Newsline podcast. “U.S. agriculture greenhouse gas emissions contribute just 10.2% overall compared to some of the other economic sectors, like transportation, electricity, industry, commercial and residential.”
Myers attributes the findings to the conservation efforts of farmers and ranchers.
“We’re actively trying to make our footprint even smaller, converting waste into energy, applying conservation and working lands programs into our everyday cropping system, and really utilizing the tools at hand to work on things like carbon sequestration,” she said.
To read the entire 791-page report, click here. The chapter on agriculture begins on page 413 of the pdf document.