US NFU backs Carbon Credit Verifier Certification Bill

A bipartisan bill that helps provide certainty to farmers who adopt climate-friendly practices has been introduced to the US Senate.
calendar icon 5 June 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

A bipartisan bill introduced on 4 June by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) would help provide certainty for farmers as they look to participate in carbon markets in their efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The bill, known as the Growing Climate Solutions Act, would create a certification programme at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for technical service providers to work with farmers as they implement practices to sequester carbon and sell the credits. The bill also calls for an advisory committee at USDA composed of farmers, government officials, and representatives from private markets to provide guidance on how Congress and USDA can reduce barriers to entry for carbon markets and resolve challenges faced by farmers.

National Farmers Union (NFU) members, numbering 200,000 family farmers and ranchers and rural residents, have long been concerned with the current and future consequences of climate change on agricultural livelihoods and global food security. At the organisation’s 118th annual convention, Farmers Union delegates passed a special order of business that encourages USDA and other federal agencies “to explore opportunities for family farmers and ranchers to realise financial benefit from the ecosystems services generated through improved management practices including voluntary marketplace initiatives and voluntary federal support programmes.”

In keeping with that special order of business, NFU President Rob Larew issued the following statement endorsing the bill:

“American family farmers and ranchers are ready to help fight climate change, but meaningful and sustainable changes are not inexpensive or easy to implement. Carbon credit exchanges can provide them with a market-based system to finance those improvements.

“It is very encouraging to see legislators work across the aisle to provide certainty to those looking to participate in carbon credit marketplaces. In doing so, the Growing Climate Solutions Act is an important step toward strong and comprehensive climate policy that both provides farmers of all sizes with the resources they need to mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as recognises the vital public good that comes from those efforts.”

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