Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hosted a hearing on the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act, where prominent agricultural leaders urged passage of the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act.
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Committee, and Mike Braun (R-IN), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, introduced the bill earlier this month with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The bill will help break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices. U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02) will introduce the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Today’s hearing showcased the growing support for the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act,” said Senator Stabenow. “Our bill is a win-win for producers and our environment. I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle and across the Capitol to pass this important bill.”
“As a Main Street Entrepreneur and conservationist, I know firsthand that if we want to address our changing climate then we need to facilitate real solutions that our farmers, environmentalists and industry can all support,” said U.S. Senator Mike Braun. “The Growing Climate Solutions Act will help make those solutions reality, and I was glad to hear from prominent agricultural leaders encourage its passage at the hearing today.”
The Senators heard testimony from agricultural leaders and farmers who stressed the importance of the bill:
Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation: “The Growing Climate Solutions Act seeks to provide more clarity and guidance for those farmers and ranchers who want to provide the ecosystem services that many consumers and businesses are desiring. This builds upon American agriculture’s strong foundation of environmental stewardship.”
Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union: “The Growing Climate Solutions Act lays a foundation that will allow the private sector and government to build market-based solutions to climate change that appropriately work with and compensate farmers and ranchers. …Our members thank the bill’s cosponsors and this committee for helping to develop the policies and programs needed to ensure an environmentally and economically sustainable future for agriculture and rural communities.”
Jason Weller, Vice President, Truterra, Land O'Lakes, Inc.: “Land O’Lakes applauds the leadership of Senator Braun, Senator Stabenow and others in developing and introducing the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act. The legislation provides core building blocks of transparency and information to advance both the promise and potential of agriculture and forestry sectors to help reduce and sequester greenhouse gases while also providing for new sources of revenue for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.”
Brent Bible, Corn and Soybean Producer, Farmer Adviser, Environmental Defense Fund: “The Growing Climate Solutions Act is strongly supported by both agriculture and environmental organizations because the bill allows farmers to help reduce their own impact on the climate while providing income during tough times like we face now. I would like to see this Committee fully support the Growing Climate Solutions Act and pass this bill into law.”
The Growing Climate Solutions Act will create new producer-friendly resources at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will help farmers and foresters scale up sustainable practices and tap into new economic opportunities through voluntary carbon markets.
- Creates an Online “One Stop Shop” for Producers and Foresters to help them get their foot in the door. A new website will serve as a comprehensive resource with information for farmers and foresters interested in generating carbon credits.
- Establishes a USDA Certification for the private parties that farmers hire in order to generate and ultimately sell their carbon credits.
- Organizes an Advisory Council to keep the Secretary and USDA updated on new developments in the rapidly-expanding landscape of carbon markets.
- Assesses Progress in Carbon Markets through a regular report to keep lawmakers up to speed on barriers to market entry, producer challenges, market performance, and opportunities for USDA to contribute to the further adoption of voluntary carbon sequestration.
The bill has the support of over 50 farm groups, environmental organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. Click here for the full list.