A new program to advance climate-smart agriculture was recently announced by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The new effort will allow businesses in the food and fiber supply chain to directly fund climate projects on California farms and ranches through public-private collaboration.
“Farmers and ranchers have long been at the forefront of the battle against climate change,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “This partnership is an opportunity for eaters and buyers to share in land-based solutions. Also, I am proud to be deepening the collaboration between CARB and CDFA, demonstrating how natural and working landscapes bring climate-change solutions to the earth.”
The collaborative effort will use private dollars to help address emission goals through advancing practices that are employed in climate-smart agriculture programs. The CDFA and CARB will be organizing a working group comprised of experts in the area in order to craft an approach to make the best use of private dollars in developing on-farm carbon reductions.
California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection at the California Environmental Protection Agency, the agency which oversees CARB, Jared Blumenfeld also expressed his enthusiasm for this new approach. “It is incredibly exciting to see California continue to demonstrate its climate policy leadership through this program that will simultaneously address climate change and support iconic landscapes that feed the nation.”
As part of the public-private collaboration, CARB and CDFA will be working with the Perennial Farming Initiative in developing the Restore California Renewable Restaurants program. The voluntary initiative allows diners to choose restaurants that are helping to fund the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on agricultural lands. Participating restaurants will contribute millions of tons of carbon reductions on farms and ranches by 2030.
“This initiative creates exciting new opportunities for Californians to participate in the state’s battle against climate change,” said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. “Restore California gives every Californian who cares about climate the opportunity to put their hard-earned money where their mouth is.”