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NFU Promotes Agriculture’s Role in Combating Climate Change

NFU Promotes Agriculture’s Role in Combating Climate Change

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009 8:01 pm

WASHINGTON (April 17, 2009) – National Farmers Union is advocating for the inclusion of a robust and voluntary agriculture offset program in climate change legislation, urging lawmakers to support legislation that addresses the unique role America’s agriculture producers can play in combating global climate change.

Last week, NFU President Roger Johnson responded to the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee questionnaire on climate change. Johnson said the organization supports a national, mandatory carbon emission cap and trade system.

"Because agriculture and forestry lands have the potential to sequester nearly 25 percent of all annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, it is critical that a flexible offset program, that ensures maximum voluntary participation by the agricultural and forestry communities, is developed," Johnson said. "Offset projects would be meaningful revenue streams for producers who will experience some increase in agricultural input costs as a result of climate legislation."

Johnson said it is important climate change legislation allow USDA to develop and administer the protocols, standards and verification system for an agricultural offset program, establish carbon sequestration rates based on science and allow early actors to be eligible to participate in a new offset program.

The Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program launched in 2006 has enrolled 4.7 million acres across the country, offsetting the annual emissions of 320,000 automobiles, and Farmers Union is now the largest aggregator of carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).

North Dakota Farmers Union President Robert Carlson participated Wednesday in two Capitol Hill briefings, "Down to Earth Carbon Science: Mitigating Climate Change with America’s Farms, Ranches and Forests," to provide the perspective of a producer participating in greenhouse gas sequestration activities in voluntary markets.

"We know that lawmakers and President Obama are very serious about addressing this issue and it is important to highlight agriculture’s role when it comes to addressing climate change," Carlson said."

Posted 4.20.09