After being reintroduced in Congress, the Growing Climate Solutions Act is receiving significant support from the agriculture industry. The bill was introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow, Mike Braun, Lindsey Graham, and Sheldon Whitehouse. More than 30 Democrat and Republican lawmakers are co-sponsoring the bill, providing hope that the legislation will be implemented. The bill looks to provide clarity and structure to the burgeoning carbon market.
“This bill is evidence lawmakers can come together in a bipartisan manner to find solutions to environmental challenges while respecting the role of farmers and ranchers as they feed families around the globe,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “AFBF welcomes the introduction of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which builds on the strong foundation of environmental stewardship in American agriculture by providing more clarity and guidance for farmers and ranchers as they explore or expand participation in carbon markets.”
The bill would establish a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist with enrollment in a carbon-credit market. USDA would also establish a certification program for third-party verifiers to allow farmers to navigate the market accordingly. An advisory committee consisting of industry stakeholders and scientists would also be created. More than 60 organizations have expressed their support for the Growing Climate Solutions Act. Supporters include the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, American Farmland Trust, the National Cotton Council, and the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance.
“Through the implementation of climate-smart practices, family farmers and ranchers can not only reduce their operations’ climate impact, but they can also offset other sectors’ emissions by sequestering atmospheric carbon in their soil,” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew said in a news release. “We welcome and support this important initiative and will continue working with the committee to leverage agriculture in our fight against the climate crisis.”