Growing Returns

To address climate change, U.S. makes historic investment in rural America

The U.S. is on the brink of making a historic investment in farmers, ranchers and rural communities, helping them cut emissions, prepare for climate impacts that are already here, and create good jobs along the way. The Inflation Reduction Act — which passed the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and which President Biden is expected to sign into law in the coming days — will direct about $20 billion toward agricultural conservation programs and nearly $14 billion toward clean energy for rural America.

To stabilize the climate and maintain a safe, vibrant planet, we need to transition to climate-smart agriculture and clean energy. This bill will expedite efforts already underway and jumpstart new ones.  

Here are the most impactful climate investments in rural America.  Read More »

Posted in sustainable agriculture / Tagged , , , | Comments are closed

3 recent USDA wins and what the department should do next

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made important progress in advancing climate-smart agriculture and creating equitable opportunities for producers to be part of the climate solution.

Here are three recent examples of progress you may have missed in the news, plus next steps for the agency to continue this momentum. Read More »

Posted in sustainable agriculture / Tagged , , , , | Comments are closed

How USDA can leverage a carbon bank for farmers, foresters and the climate

As the U.S. works to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030, the agriculture and forestry sectors have important contributions to make to reducing emissions and sequestering carbon, as well as building resilience to climate impacts that are already here.

A carbon bank run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is one policy option to help increase and reward agriculture’s climate contributions. Although a carbon bank — broadly defined as a set of policy tools to direct funding to incentivize voluntary climate mitigation — has been the subject of heightened interest for the past several months, the concept remains amorphous because it’s new. USDA, Congress and impacted stakeholders are still figuring it out.

While the need to address climate change is urgent, it’s also essential to get a carbon bank right so that farmers, policymakers, carbon credit buyers and everyone who depends on a stable climate don’t lose faith in agricultural and forestry climate solutions.

Here are four ways that USDA can move forward on a carbon bank, even in the face of uncertainty, to leverage the power of farms and forests to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Read More »

Posted in Climate Resilience, sustainable agriculture / Tagged , , | Comments are closed