In a bipartisan effort, the U.S. Senate passed the “Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021”. The bill, S.1251, basically creates a new program to self-certify technical assistance providers and third-party verifiers for the agriculture and forestry sectors for voluntary actions that are intended to reduce the amount of air and carbon pollution and for processes to naturally store carbon. It directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publish a list of the protocols for voluntary environmental markets that have the potential to further support farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners in adopting sustainable management practices.
Many groups applauded Senate passage of the bill which now moves on to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a bipartisan effort, today the U.S. Senate passed the “Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021”. The bill, S.1251, basically creates a new program to self-certify technical assistance providers and third-party verifiers for the agriculture and forestry sectors for voluntary actions that are intended to reduce the amount of air and carbon pollution and for processes to naturally store carbon. It directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publish a list of the protocols for voluntary environmental markets that have the potential to further support farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners in adopting sustainable management practices.
Many groups applauded Senate passage of the bill which now moves on to the U.S. House of Representatives.
To read a complete and accurate display of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, click here (.pdf).
Farm Bureau Applauds Senate Passage of Growing Climate Solutions Act
The American Farm Bureau Federation applauds the U.S. Senate for passing the Growing Climate Solutions Act. The act has 55 cosponsors, which makes it the first major piece of bipartisan legislation that would help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience through voluntary, market-driven programs. The Growing Climate Solutions Act passed by a vote of 92-8.
“We appreciate lawmakers putting aside their differences to work on bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing farmers and ranchers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “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.”
The Growing Climate Solutions Act is supported by more than 75 agriculture, food, forestry and environmental groups that are part of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA). The alliance advocates for responsible policies that build on voluntary, incentive-based programs, market-driven opportunities and science-based approaches.
This legislation would provide clarity and guidance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in voluntary participation in private carbon credit markets. With a growing number of ecosystem service providers, producers seek a trusted source for reliable information. The Growing Climate Solutions Act would create a certification program at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers. Landowner participation and the adoption of practices have been slowed by a lack of access to reliable information about private carbon markets, as well as too few qualified technical assistance providers and credit protocol verifiers.
“The Growing Climate Solutions Act demonstrates how far we’ve come in climate policy over the past decade,” President Duvall said. “Farm Bureau has worked tirelessly through the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance and directly with lawmakers to help them understand the importance of working with America’s farmers and ranchers to ensure climate policy remains voluntary and market-driven. We encourage members of the House to follow the Senate’s lead and work in a bipartisan manner to create responsible policy that protects the environment and protects the farmers and ranchers who rely on clean air and water to feed the nation.”
The House is currently working on its version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act.
(WASHINGTON/June 24, 2021) — “The Growing Climate Solutions Act recognizes the critical role that our working lands play in storing carbon and helping slow the effects of climate change,” said Melinda Cep, vice president of natural solutions and working lands at the National Audubon Society. “While agriculture and forestry represent only a portion of the much larger fight against climate change, landowners are an important part of the solution.”
Bipartisan Bill Addressing Pollution on Working Lands and Economic Support to Landowners Passes Senate
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation
Senate’s Climate Act Passage Welcome
The NCC appreciates the Senate’s solid 92-8 passage on June 24 of the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021
(MEMPHIS, TN/June 24, 2021) — The National Cotton Council (NCC) appreciates the Senate’s solid 92-8 passage today of the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 (S. 1251) – legislation U.S. cotton’s central organization says can facilitate producers’ adoption of carbon sequestration practices and help lower greenhouse gas emissions.
NCC Chairman Kent Fountain, a Georgia cotton producer and ginner, said, “the U.S. cotton industry supports this legislation which will direct USDA to provide producers with reliable information and remove technical entry barriers for producers to participate in private carbon credit markets.”
After the Senate legislation was marked up earlier this year, Mark McKean, a California cotton producer who chairs the NCC’s American Cotton Producers (ACP) and serves on the ACP’s Climate Policy Working Group, noted in a NCC release that the bill included a USDA certification component that lowers barriers to entry in the credit markets “by reducing confusion and improving information for farmers looking to implement practices that capture carbon, reduce emissions, improve soil health, and make operations more sustainable.”
Source: National Cotton Council
The Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA) was passed by the Senate today. The bill creates a new program to self-certify technical assistance providers and third-party verifiers for the agriculture and forestry sectors for voluntary actions that are intended to reduce the amount of air and carbon pollution and for processes to naturally store carbon. The legislation seeks to address barriers to entry for landowners trying to access voluntary carbon markets, and encourages practices guided by science, while also refining protocols that account for additionality, permanence, and potential leakage.
A 2019 Audubon report found that two-thirds of North America’s birds will be vulnerable to extinction if global temperature rise is allowed to continue at current levels. The study found that climate threats faced by birds and their habitats have implications for people as well. Reducing emissions is key to holding off the worst effects of climate change.
The bill directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publish a list of the protocols for voluntary environmental markets. These markets have the potential to further support farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners in adopting sustainable management practices like planting cover crops, prescribed grazing, and reforestation. In addition to improving the health of working lands, these practices serve as natural solutions for reducing greenhouse gas pollution and increasing the amount of carbon stored in the soil. These important steps will improve transparency of voluntary carbon markets, but significant action is needed to completely eliminate carbon pollution and ensure that all communities can enjoy clean and healthy air.
Audubon has previously supported state-level efforts to use natural climate solutions to reduce emissions in Texas and South Carolina, and helped secure the passage of legislation in Washington state to use farms and fields to capture carbon. Healthy fields and forests are natural solutions to climate change, while providing vital bird habitat that also benefits rural communities. Additionally, Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative offers certification for beef and bison products that are raised on sustainable grasslands.
Source: National Audubon Society
State agriculture officials celebrate bipartisan passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act by the U.S. Senate
(ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA/June 24, 2021) —State departments of agriculture celebrate the bipartisan passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barb Glenn offered the following praise for the act:
“Through its voluntary structure and focus on supporting farmers, The Growing Climate Solutions Act enables all agricultural producers to further embrace climate smart practices with new educational resources and economic certainty. State departments of agriculture ardently work to ensure the prosperity of agriculture and welcome the opportunity to assist farmers seeking to enter the carbon market.
NASDA commends the U.S. Senate for holding to their commitment to act on climate policy and thanks Senator Stabenow, Senator Braun, and Senator Boozman for leading the development of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in a strong bi-partisan fashion.”
NASDA serves as a founding member of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance and advocates for incentive and science-based climate solutions for agriculture. In 2019, NASDA members unanimously acknowledged the necessity of adapting to a changing climate to protect our nation’s natural resources and build a more resilient food system. Read more about NASDA’s work on climate at NASDA.org/climate-resiliency.
Farm Credit Welcomes Senate Passage of Growing Climate Solutions Act
(WASHINGTON, D.C./June 24, 2021) — Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose made the following statement on the Senate passing the Growing Climate Solutions Act.
“This bipartisan legislation is an important step toward developing a voluntary, market-based system for carbon markets. It will ensure farmers and ranchers have access to the information and technical assistance needed to fully understand how they can participate,” Van Hoose said. “Farm Credit appreciates the leadership of Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Senator Mike Braun.”
Source: Farm Credit Council
NMPF Statement on Senate Passage of Growing Climate Solutions Act
(WASHINGTON, DC/June 24, 2021)
From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:
“NMPF commends the United States Senate for passing the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act by an overwhelming margin.
“This important legislation will enable USDA to informally endorse technical service providers that help farmers implement stewardship practices that can generate carbon and other environmental credits. The Growing Climate Solutions Act will encourage more farmers to participate in environmental markets, a crucial part of dairy’s Net Zero Initiative that helps dairy farmers of all sizes across the country meet our industry’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals.
ARA Applauds Senate Passage of Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021
ARLINGTON, Va. (June 24, 2021) – Today the U.S. Senate passed S.1251, the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021, in a vote of 92-8. The bill would help boost ag carbon markets by creating a certification process at USDA. Agricultural Retailers Association President and CEO Daren Coppock issued the following statement in response:
“ARA is pleased that this important piece of legislation was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and we urge the U.S. House of Representatives to follow suit.
“Agricultural practices will continue to play a key role in climate policy discussions, and it is essential that the ag retail industry is included in any climate-smart ag sustainability solutions. As the trusted advisor to farmers, the retailer plays a pivotal role in the development and implementation of climate-smart ag practices and conservation methods as part of broader on-farm management plans their farmer customers utilize in their day-to-day operations.
“ARA contends that these carbon markets should be voluntary and incentive-based.Today’s action is a step in the right direction, and we will continue to ensure that the ag retailer is a part of the conversation as the bill is taken up by the House.”