Ag News

U.S. Senate passes Growing Climate Solutions Act

by Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Jul 07, 2021 at 0:00 AM

On June 24, the U.S. Senate passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act by a 92-8 vote. Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia) and John Ossoff (D-Georgia) both voted in favor of passage. Warnock, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, was one of 55 cosponsors.

“We appreciate lawmakers putting aside their differences to work on bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing farmers and ranchers,” said American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall. “The Growing Climate Solutions Act acknowledges the potential of climate-smart farming while ensuring farmers would be respected as partners who can build on our strong foundation of environmental stewardship.”

A similar bill (H.R. 2820) by the same title was introduced in the House in April, with Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia 2nd District) among its cosponsors.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act is supported by AFBF and more than 75 other agriculture, food, forestry and environmental groups that are part of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA). The alliance advocates for responsible policies that build on voluntary, incentive-based programs, market-driven opportunities and science-based approaches.

This legislation would provide clarity and guidance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in voluntary participation in private carbon credit markets. With a growing number of ecosystem service providers, producers seek a trusted source for reliable information. The Growing Climate Solutions Act would create a certification program at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers. Landowner participation and the adoption of practices have been slowed by a lack of access to reliable information about private carbon markets, as well as too few qualified technical assistance providers and credit protocol verifiers.

“The Growing Climate Solutions Act demonstrates how far we’ve come in climate policy over the past decade,” Duvall said. “Farm Bureau has worked tirelessly through the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance and directly with lawmakers to help them understand the importance of working with America’s farmers and ranchers to ensure climate policy remains voluntary and market-driven. We encourage members of the House to follow the Senate’s lead and work in a bipartisan manner to create responsible policy that protects the environment and protects the farmers and ranchers who rely on clean air and water to feed the nation.”

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