WASHINGTON — The Growing Climate Solutions Act was introduced June 4 in an effort to break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Sheldon Whitehouse, D- R.I.
As part of the bill:
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture will administer a new website that will serve as a one-stop shop of information for farmers and foresters interested in carbon markets.
• A USDA certification program will be created. Through the program, the USDA will be able to provide transparency, legitimacy and informal endorsement of third-party verifiers and technical service providers that help private landowners generate carbon credits through a variety of agriculture and forestry related practices.
• An advisory council of scientists, conservationists, producers and more will ensure that the program remains relevant.
• A regular report will keep lawmakers up to speed on barriers to market entry, producer challenges and so forth.
The bill has the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association and over 40 farm groups, environmental organizations and Fortune 500 companies.
Leaders Weigh In
“As a Main Street entrepreneur and conservationist, I know firsthand that if we want to address our changing climate then we need to facilitate real solutions that our farmers, environmentalists and industry can all support, which this bill accomplishes.”
Mike Braun, U.S. senator
“While farms and forests have been uniquely impacted by the climate crisis, they can also be an important part of the solution. Our bipartisan bill is a win-win for farmers, our economy and our environment by providing new economic opportunities to store carbon while also addressing the climate crisis.”
Debbie Stabenow, U.S. senator
“Make no mistake, this is a breakthrough, and it signals a broader move coming on climate in this country. America can and should lead the world to safety, for all our citizens, for our atmosphere and oceans, and for generations to come.”
Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. senator
“This bipartisan bill is an important step in recognizing that agriculture and forestry can be significant partners in sustainability. The Growing Climate Solutions Act will allow farmers to benefit from their current sustainability practices and in turn, incentivize those who are interested in implementing similar practices.
Randy Kron, president
Indiana Farm Bureau
Learn more about the bill at https://tinyurl.com/yckm4kuk.