Statement from John Piotti, AFT president and CEO: IPCC Report on Climate Change and Land Use
“Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its report on Climate Change and Land Use, and we were not surprised. In last year’s report, we had confirmation from the global scientific community that we must put carbon back into the soil if we have any chance of meeting the Paris climate goals. In today’s report, we have further confirmation and clarity.
“In this morning’s press conference the IPCC summarized — land is under pressure and land is part of the solution, with agriculture playing a key role. This is correct. And it will not just be about how we farm. It will require a holistic approach that harnesses the land, the practices and the people of farming, an approach my organization has embraced for over 40 years.
“Land and soils are being lost or degraded and climate change is further exacerbating the pressure on land — that’s the challenging news. The good news is that agriculture and natural and working-land solutions in themselves offer the most promising possibility to save our society providing ‘cost-effective, immediate and long-term benefits.’ Much of this work is already underway, it just needs to be scaled up. But as the IPCC emphasizes, we must act early because, ‘All assessed modeled pathways that limit warming to 1.5°C or well below 2°C require land-based mitigation and land-use change.’
“AFT has been and will continue to do the work that is needed to see humanity through to safety – saving farmland from development, helping farmers implement regenerative practices and keeping farmers on the land to do what they do best on behalf of our society.
“It is true that agriculture is an industry where much reform is needed. It is also true that our farmland and ranchland may be our only hope for a sustainable future.”
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American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.