AFT Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act
This statement can be attributed to Tim Fink, AFT Federal Policy Director
“AFT applauds Senators Braun (R-IN), Stabenow (D-MI), Graham (R-SC), and Whitehouse (D-RI) for introducing the Growing Climate Solutions Act. This legislation recognizes the unique role our nation’s farmers and ranchers can play in combatting climate change. The Act could help pave the way for more producers to be rewarded by industry for implementing practices that sequester carbon and reduce emissions, many of which also improve water quality and lead to more resilient soil.
“By creating the Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program, the Act would help ensure that carbon-credit verifiers and technical service providers are held to uniform standards by USDA. The Act addresses some critical gaps in the implementation of private carbon markets: accessibility, and the confidence – for both generators and purchasers of carbon credits – that each credit truly represents avoided greenhouse gas emissions or carbon sequestration. The Act would also create an advisory council to help the program evolve with the latest science and market needs.
“The IPCC’s 2019 report on climate change and land use states that in order to meet the Paris Climate Accord goal of limiting climate change to two degrees Celsius, we must sequester carbon through “natural solutions” in addition to reducing emissions. As AFT President John Piotti has noted, “sequestering carbon in the soil through regenerative farming practices is considered one of the most cost-effective and immediate solutions we can implement…Our farmland and ranchland may be our only hope for a sustainable future.”
“With devastating storms, droughts, floods, and fires already impacting production, our nation’s farmers and ranchers find themselves on the front lines of climate change. The Growing Climate Solutions Act would help lower the barriers to entry for producers tackling the greatest challenge of the 21st century. In addition to the climate benefits, private carbon markets could provide another source of revenue for producers, thereby increasing the viability of their operations and preventing additional agricultural land from being converted to other uses.
“American Farmland Trust looks forward to working with the Senators, the relevant committees, Congress as a whole, and other stakeholders in serving as an independent resource and advancing policies that include producers as part of climate solutions.”