Agriculture must be part of climate change negotiations, says Farm Bureau
Although blamed for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture has a “great track record” through land stewardship and biofuels in mitigating climate change, says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in looking ahead to the Biden administration. “We must make sure we are at the table for discussions around climate change.”
Speaking during the opening session of the AFBF annual convention, held online this year, Duvall said, “Farmers have a great story to tell when it comes to protecting our environment,” noting that roughly 140 million acres, or 219,000 square miles, of farmland are enrolled in federal soil and water conservation programs and biofuels “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 71 million tonnes per year.”
“Now, I’m not saying we can rest on those laurels. But I believe agriculture’s great track record shows just how much we can achieve when farmers and ranchers are at the table when we develop solutions,” said Duvall.
President-elect Biden has described climate change as an existential threat and vowed to propose comprehensive legislation to slow global warming. He wants American agriculture to be the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, and says farmers can earn money as part of it by sequestering carbon in the soil. One think tank report suggested steps such as a “carbon bank” at USDA to assist landowners in adopting “climate-smart land management practices.”
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