Farmers Union: Agriculture Can Address Climate Change

Farmers Union: Agriculture Can Address Climate Change

WASHINGTON (May 6, 2008) – National Farmers Union was part of a coalition of 13 organizations in a letter sent today to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member James Inhofe outlining a number of principle priorities within federal climate change legislation.

The groups thanked the committee for recognizing the role agriculture can play in helping the United States address climate change, through storing carbon on agricultural lands as well as capturing greenhouse gases on livestock facilities. Carbon sequestration projects on agricultural lands are the easiest and most readily available means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a meaningful scale.

National Farmers Union President Tom Buis pointed to the Farmers Union Carbon Credit program as a step in the right direction. The voluntary program has enrolled 3.6 million acres across the country since October 2006.

“There are no better stewards of the land than those involved in agriculture,” Buis said. “Farmers and ranchers are eager to play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our environment for future generations.”

The coalition urged the committee to consider the following:
Provide USDA implementation authority over the agriculture offset allowance program – utilize the positive track record of county offices to work with farmers participating in the offset program.
Eliminate artificial cap on use of domestic offset allowances – at a minimum, the cap on domestic offsets should be raised significantly to ensure all domestic offset projects on agricultural lands qualify.
Recognize early actors – recognize those that have taken previous steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Stackable credits – do not exclude projects participating in a greenhouse gas offset market from also participating in other markets for environmental services.

“We look forward to working with the Senate to craft a bill that maximizes carbon sequestration from agricultural lands,” Buis said.
Posted 5.7.08

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