June 29, 2021


American Farm Bureau welcomes passing of US climate act



The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has welcomed the US Senate's passing of the Growing Climate Solutions Act.


The act has 55 co-sponsors, which makes it the first major piece of bipartisan legislation that would help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in the United States reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience through voluntary, market-driven programmes.


"We appreciate lawmakers putting aside their differences to work on bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing farmers and ranchers," said 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."


The act is supported by more than 75 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 programmes, 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 also create a certification programme at the United States Department of Agriculture (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 a lack of 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 (United States House of Representatives) 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."


The US House of Representatives is currently working on its version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act.