The bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act that was recently introduced is aimed at addressing climate change concerns by supporting more participation in carbon markets. The bill would establish a certification program to be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide more efficiency and transparency to the process of carbon trading. Several agricultural industry groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), National Farmers Union (NFU), National Milk Producers, and the National Corn Growers Association have leveed their support for the legislation and the benefits that can be provided to farmers and ranchers.
“Carbon credit exchanges can provide them with a market-based system to finance those improvements,” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew said in a press release. “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.”
The legislation introduced by Senators Mike Braun, Lindsay Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Debbie Stabenow seeks to eliminate some of the barriers prohibiting farmers and ranchers from participating in carbon markets. The Growing Climate Solutions Act also calls for the creation of an advisory council to keep USDA informed about any developments within the carbon markets. The bill seeks to also foster more understanding about how carbon credit markets function and provide access to technical assistance and credit protocol verifiers through USDA’s certification program.
“America’s farmers and ranchers have made tremendous strides in reducing our carbon footprint, with overall greenhouse gas emissions under 10% for our industry. As we endeavor to do more with less, we are always focused on doing better and working together to protect the natural resources we all enjoy,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a news release. “We are grateful to Senators Braun and Stabenow for consulting us on their efforts to bring clarity and validity to a voluntary, market-based carbon-credit system and provide a USDA-led review to inspire confidence as we enter the new carbon marketplace.”