Ag Groups Respond to USDA Climate Smart Solutions
The National Association of Conservation Districts submitted a letter to the USDA in response to the agency’s request for comments on climate smart solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. “Climate-smart agriculture and forestry need significantly more government investment and action to meet the need of oversubscribed programs,” says NACD President Michael Crowder. Among the suggestions, the NACD Climate Action Task Force reiterated its request for at least $1.2 billion in the Fiscal Year 2022 discretionary funding for conservation operations to bolster local technical assistance. National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says carbon markets represent a great opportunity for farmers to help in the effort to mitigate climate change, but they do come with risks. Larew calls on the USDA to minimize those risks and provide more certainty for farmers by creating a “public third-party verification system,” facilitating access to information about the markets, and working to “prevent consolidation in agricultural carbon markets and the corporate purchasing of farmland for the generation of carbon credits.” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor submitted comments pointing out that plant-based biofuels like ethanol are a readily available, renewable energy solution that reduces carbon emissions today. “Recent studies demonstrate that biofuels can immediately contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonizing our transportation sector,” Skor says.