You can add two more important stakeholders — and unusual allies — to the growing list calling for the Senate to include strong Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) provisions in their bill: agriculture and forestry groups.
In a letter this week to the drafters of current climate legislation for the Senate, 31 businesses, agriculture groups, and environmental organizations (including EDF) asked for the bill to include agriculture and forest provisions.
REDD can help address the serious worldwide deforestation problem, the letter to Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, says,
while helping keep energy costs affordable for U.S. agriculture, forest products industries, and consumers. Protecting these forests will also help level the playing field for U.S. agriculture and forest products industries by reducing illegal logging and forest conversion in tropical countries, ensuring fair competition in wood, pulp, beef, leather, soybeans, and other global markets.
Also this week one of our partner coalitions, Avoided Deforestation Partners, joined with the Ohio Corn Growers Association in placing ads in the Washington Post: “Tropical Rainforests: A Climate Solution for American Agriculture” and “Want to Protect Farms and Ranchers Here? Protect forests there.” You can see the online version for the rest of the week on the Washington Post’s Post Carbon blog, or view the print ad at ADPartners.org.
So how did we reach the conclusion that farms and forests are critical to solving the climate crisis? EDF was a pioneer in the simple idea that if we could change the status quo and incentivize forest protection instead of forest destruction, we could reduce the estimated 15% of emissions that come from deforestation in the tropics. This idea has already received a lot of attention at the international climate negotiations and robust REDD provisions that we championed were included in the climate bill that the House of Representatives passed last June.
Read more about the letter in The Hill’s E2 Wire blog and PointCarbon (subscription required), and find the full letter here. I also encourage you to watch a video that AD Partners produced on how protecting rainforests can benefit US farmers.