Farm groups commend Senate passage of Growing Climate Solutions Act

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Capitol dome, Washington D.C., Farm and Dairy file photo
Farm and Dairy file photo.

The U.S. Senate passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a program to help farmers and forest owners get paid for carbon sequestering practices through private markets, June 24.

The bill aims to encourage climate-smart agricultural practices. It would set up a third-party certification process for carbon credits through the USDA, would offer more resources for farmers who want to learn more about carbon markets and would create an advisory council for the USDA to make sure the program works for farmers. It goes now to the House, which is already considering a similar bill.

Several farm groups applauded the Senate’s decision in recent statements.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the bill demonstrates how far climate policy has come over the past decade.

“The Growing Climate Solutions Act acknowledges the potential of climate-smart farming while ensuring farmers would be respected as partners who can build on our strong foundation of environmental stewardship,” Duvall said.

Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, which endorsed the bill when it was first introduced last year, said the bill is a small but importance piece of addressing climate change.

“The urgent threat of climate change — and the need for immediate, action to mitigate and adapt — is irrefutable,” Larew said. “This legislation will facilitate farmers’ participation in carbon markets, granting them greater access to the financial incentives they need to invest in climate-smart agricultural practices.”

The National Milk Producers Federation said the bill will encourage more farmers to participate in environmental markets, which is an important part of meeting the dairy industry’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals.

Kevin Scott, president of the American Soybean Association, said passing the bill is a step towards making sure that environmental markets are transparent and accessible for farmers, which will help farmers make informed decisions on markets and practices.

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