June 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202.554.1600
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill introduced today by Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) would help provide certainty for farmers as they look to participate in carbon markets in their efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
The bill, known as the Growing Climate Solutions Act, would create a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for technical service providers to work with farmers as they implement practices to sequester carbon and sell the credits. The bill also calls for an advisory committee at USDA composed of farmers, government officials, and representatives from private markets to provide guidance on how Congress and USDA can reduce barriers to entry for carbon markets and resolve challenges faced by farmers.
National Farmers Union (NFU) members, numbering 200,000 family farmers and ranchers and rural residents, have long been concerned with the current and future consequences of climate change on agricultural livelihoods and global food security. At the organization’s 118th annual convention, Farmers Union delegates passed a special order of business that encourages USDA and other federal agencies “to explore opportunities for family farmers and ranchers to realize financial benefit from the ecosystems services generated through improved management practices including voluntary marketplace initiatives and voluntary federal support programs.”
In keeping with that special order of business, NFU President Rob Larew issued the following statement endorsing the bill:
“American family farmers and ranchers are ready to help fight climate change, but meaningful and sustainable changes are not inexpensive or easy to implement. Carbon credit exchanges can provide them with a market-based system to finance those improvements.
“It is very encouraging to see legislators work across the aisle to provide certainty to those looking to participate in carbon credit marketplaces. In doing so, the Growing Climate Solutions Act is an important step toward strong and comprehensive climate policy that both provides farmers of all sizes with the resources they need to mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as recognizes the vital public good that comes from those efforts.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.