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When it Comes to Regenerative Agriculture’s Role in Combatting Climate Change, the Science Paves a Clear Path Forward

This is the first blog post in a series of four outlining the reasons – scientific, economic, and social – why regenerative agriculture should be included in the suite of solutions we pursue as a society to solve the climate crisis. We need agriculture to help mitigate climate change, and agriculture needs regenerative practices to become more resilient to the environmental and economic impacts of climate changeAnd we need everyone in agriculture – from small to large farms, individual farmers to corporations  to implement regenerative practices at the scale needed to make a difference.  

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated emphatically that we must harness natural solutions if we are to have any chance to reach the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. As essential as it is to reduce GHG emissions, that alone will not be enough; we need to draw carbon out of the atmosphere.   

Some of the most powerful natural solutions involve agriculture. 

Extensive literature and hundreds of long-term field experiments across the globe document the capability of regenerative farming practices to increase soil carbon through practices such as cover crops, tillage reduction, and perennials.

Extensive literature and hundreds of long-term field experiments across the globe document the capability of regenerative farming practices to increase soil carbon through practices such as cover crops, tillage reduction, and perennials. These practices improve soil health and provide additional environmental benefits.  

There are some remaining scientific uncertainties, and agriculture is not a silver bullet, nor is it the only solution neededHowever, there is no uncertainty on one key factwe must harness each of the opportunities available to usin energy, transportation, and agricultureto solve the climate crisis.  

Even if each approach only addresses a portion of the needed solution, taken together, they provide the possibility of a livable future.

Even if each approach only addresses a portion of the needed solution, taken together, they provide the possibility of a livable future.  

Simply put, we know enough to act. The science is clear: widespread adoption of regenerative agricultural systems would bring many environmental benefits, including climate change mitigation.   

Photo credit: Sebastian Meyer

Read Other Blogs in This Series

Learn more about the reasons – scientific, economic, and social – why regenerative agriculture should be included in the suite of solutions we pursue as a society to solve the climate crisis.

About the Author
Jennifer Moore, PhD

Climate Initiative Director

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