In this file:
· NFU: Carbon Markets Contribute to Financial and Environmental Sustainability of Family Farm Agriculture
· NPPC Supports Bill Helping Farmers Participate in Carbon Markets
Carbon Markets Contribute to Financial and Environmental Sustainability of Family Farm Agriculture
Larew Testifies Before Senate Ag on Growing Climate Solutions Act
Source: National Farmers Union (NFU)
Jun 24, 2020
WASHINGTON – As family farmers grapple with the dual crises of a global pandemic and climate change, carbon markets present a critical solution for both, according to National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew.
In testimony presented today to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Larew highlighted the many challenges the American agriculture industry is currently enduring. “Family farmers and ranchers face an uncertain economic future,” Larew said, citing low commodity prices and unstable export markets, both of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, farmers are holding record levels of debt and declaring bankruptcy at the highest rate since 1981.
Though the pandemic has “roiled domestic markets and exposed weaknesses in the food supply chain and farm safety net,” ultimately, it is a relatively short-term problem that will likely be resolved within the next several years. Climate change, on the other hand, “is the single greatest long-term challenge facing family farmers and ranchers, rural communities, and global food security.” Rising average temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, changing growing seasons, increasingly frequent and severe weather events, and rising sea levels are already making it more difficult to grow crops and raise livestock – difficulties that will only intensify over time.
But the United States isn’t helpless to address the climate crisis; there are ways to adapt to and mitigate climate change, and “farmers and ranchers, if provided the right tools, can be a key part of a solution,” as Larew told the committee. Primarily, they can “reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a meaningful scale” through land management practices that build soil health and sequester atmospheric carbon. Coincidentally, these practices also promote farmland’s resilience to drought and flooding. On top of that, farmers can “contribute to a clean energy future thorough the production of renewable energy and biofuels, which will be key in ensuring the United States’ long-term energy security.”
These efforts, though effective, often require a considerable temporal and monetary investment, as well as technical expertise and labor, all of which may be particularly onerous for farmers to take on as they cope with the economic fallout of the pandemic. That’s where carbon markets come in. By creating “a sustainable revenue stream for farmers as they work to sequester carbon,” carbon markets can contribute to both the financial and environmental sustainability of family farm agriculture.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act, which would create a certification program for technical service providers to work with farmers as they implement practices to sequester carbon and sell the credits, is an important move towards establishing such markets. NFU endorsed the bipartisan bill when it was introduced earlier this month. In today’s testimony, Larew reiterated his support, indicating that that bill is a “sound first step in developing strong bipartisan climate policy for America’s family farmers and ranchers.”
Larew suggested several additions to strengthen the bill, including mechanisms to prevent farm-level consolidation, robust funding for public climate research, and protections for farmers from bad actors or faulty market efforts. “NFU commits to working with the committee to ensure the Growing Climate Solutions Act adequately reflects the needs of family farmers and ranchers,” he said in conclusion. “I look forward to continuing this dialogue about the role of family farmers and ranchers in addressing the climate crisis.”
# # #
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.
Learn more about us at NFU.org.
NPPC Supports Bill Helping Farmers Participate in Carbon Markets
Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
Jun 24, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2020 – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) strongly supports legislation being discussed during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing today that creates important elements needed to support a private carbon credit offset market. The bill would reward the valuable current and future contributions by pork producers and other sectors of agriculture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act, introduced by Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a program to provide transparency, legitimacy and informal endorsement of third-party verifiers and technical service providers that help private landowners generate carbon credits through a variety of agriculture and forestry related practices.
"U.S. pork producers, who have been at the forefront of environmental sustainability, are committed to the long-term protection of our country's natural resources," said NPPC President Howard "AV" Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. "Thanks to continuous on-farm improvements in nutrition, genetics and overall pig care, U.S. pork producers are doing more with less. This bipartisan effort will help give the private sector the standards and certifications needed to recognize and reward the important work being done by U.S. hog farmers to reduce our carbon footprint. We thank the senators for their leadership and look forward to passage of this important legislation."
According to recent Environmental Protection Agency findings, the production of U.S. pork is responsible for only 0.3% of all agriculture greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Likewise, according to a 2019 study by the National Pork Board, U.S. pork producers have used 75.9% less land, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy since 1960. This also has resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint. To learn more about pork's environmental efforts, click here.
# # #
NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America's 60,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.nppc.org.