Climate Change https://www.iatp.org/ en Big dairies clash with Minnesota’s climate goals https://www.iatp.org/blog/202003/big-dairies-clash-minnesotas-climate-goals <span>Big dairies clash with Minnesota’s climate goals</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/17/2020 - 08:54</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>As states step up on climate action to fill the void left by the Trump administration, farming is often left on the sidelines. This is starting to change. In a first among Midwest farm states, Minnesota regulators are attempting to assess the climate impact of large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). </span></span></span></p></div> Tue, 17 Mar 2020 13:54:47 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44201 at https://www.iatp.org Comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet for Daley Farms of Lewiston, LLP 2018 Dairy Expansion https://www.iatp.org/documents/comments-draft-supplemental-environmental-assessment-worksheet-daley-farms-lewiston-llp <div data-history-node-id="44190" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/tara-ritter" hreflang="en">Tara Ritter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/ben-lilliston" hreflang="en">Ben Lilliston</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) thanks the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for the opportunity to comment on the draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet (SEAW) for Daley Farms of Lewiston, LLP 2018 Dairy Expansion.</p> <p>IATP is a 33-year-old organization based in Minneapolis. We work at the local, state, national and international levels to create fair and sustainable agriculture and trade systems. IATP was born in response to the family farm crisis of the 1980s, and we continue to pursue policy solutions that benefit family farmers, rural communities and the environment. Minnesota, as one of the largest agricultural states in the country, has a critical role to play in setting the precedent for how state governments handle climate change and agriculture.</p> <p>We envision an animal agriculture system that keeps small and mid-sized farmers on the land, sequesters carbon and protects water quality. However, agricultural consolidation has pushed dairy farmers off the land, resulting in mega-farms that concentrate profits in the hands of the few, emit potent greenhouse 1 gases methane and nitrous oxide and contaminate groundwater. Minnesota has an imperative to create an environment conducive to small and mid-sized dairy farmers raising animals in ways that protects the planet.</p> <p>The Daley Farms expansion runs completely counter to the climate-friendly animal agriculture system that Minnesota needs. This proposal would expand one of the largest dairies in Minnesota by 3,000 cows to a total of 4,628 cows. This expansion would generate 46 million gallons of manure per year and make Daley Farms the 43rd largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter in the state, according to court documents filed by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.</p> <p>This expansion hinders Minnesota’s ability to meet the goals of the Next Generation Energy Act, which requires the state to reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2050. It also violates the Minnesota Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), which says:</p> <blockquote> <p>No state action significantly affecting the quality of the environment shall be allowed, nor shall any permit for natural resources management and development be granted, where such action or permit has caused or is likely to cause pollution, impairment, or destruction of the air, water, land or other natural resources located within the state, so long as there is a feasible and prudent alternative consistent with the reasonable requirements of the public health, safety, and welfare and the state's paramount concern for the protection of its air, water, land and other natural resources from pollution, impairment, or destruction. Economic considerations alone shall not justify such conduct.</p> </blockquote> <p>We are commenting to urge the MPCA’s Environmental Review division to use its power to conduct environmental review as intended by the authors of MEPA. The SEAW for the proposed expansion of Daley Farms does not fully capture the operation’s environmental effects and underestimates its climate impacts. Furthermore, it does not consider the damaging impact of agricultural consolidation on the farm economy or adequately evaluate more climate-friendly methods of animal agriculture that also make farms more resilient to climate impacts. These oversights make it impossible for MPCA to fairly determine the significance of environmental effects from Daley Farms. We strongly urge MPCA to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Daley Farms expansion to fully measure its environmental impacts and outline alternatives. </p> <p> </p> <p><em><strong>Read the comment in its entirety <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/IATP%20MPCA%20Daley%20Farms%20Comments.pdf">here</a>. </strong></em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/IATP%20MPCA%20Daley%20Farms%20Comments.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=227853" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">IATP MPCA Daley Farms Comments.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">222.51 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 06 Mar 2020 19:07:37 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44190 at https://www.iatp.org Daley Farms review fails to take a hard look at climate pollution https://www.iatp.org/documents/daley-farms-review-fails-take-hard-look-climate-pollution <div data-history-node-id="44189" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/iatp" hreflang="en">IATP</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><strong><span><span><span>ST. PAUL, Minn.—</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span>State agencies must strengthen how they address greenhouse gas pollution in environmental studies, say comments filed today with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on the Daley Farms expansion environmental assessment. The study of the proposal was required by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which struck down an earlier environmental study that failed to consider greenhouse gas pollution at all. The expansion would nearly triple the size of a large dairy operation in Winona County that currently houses 1,600 cattle.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The Daley Farms expansion environmental assessment is the first since a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision required analysis of greenhouse gas pollution in all environmental reviews. Minnesota is not currently meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals, and reductions across all sectors of our economy, including agriculture, are needed. Yet, the Daley Farms expansion environmental assessment does not accurately describe the proposal’s climate impact or adequately describe ways to mitigate that pollution. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The MPCA study estimated that the expansion would add the equivalent of 32,500 tons of carbon dioxide pollution every year. But this covers less than half of the actual greenhouse gas emissions from the proposal and understates the potency of methane as a climate pollutant. The yearly climate impact could be as high as 22,500 additional cars on Minnesota roads, according to the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA).</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>“Minnesota can’t shirk our responsibility to take action on the climate crisis,” stated <strong>Amelia Vohs, staff attorney at the MCEA</strong>. “The Minnesota Court of Appeals required state agencies to take a hard look at the climate impacts of every proposal they study. To reduce greenhouse gas pollution fast enough to make a difference, we need to accurately estimate climate pollution and study ways to mitigate it on every project.”</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) submitted their own comments on the study. “The rise in dairy CAFOs is harming Minnesota’s farm economy by pushing small and mid-sized farms out while also contributing significant greenhouse gas emissions,” says <strong>Tara Ritter, senior program associate for climate change and rural communities at IATP</strong>. “It’s critical for MPCA to thoroughly assess agricultural greenhouse gases in a way that fully captures the emissions from CAFOs and also points toward lower-emitting farming systems that could support more farmers staying on the land.”</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>In addition to the extensive comments submitted by MCEA and IATP, around 150 Minnesotans also sent in shorter comments asking for a stronger study that includes ways to offset all of the greenhouse gas pollution from the Daley Farms proposal.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>According to Minnesota rules, the MPCA has 15 days to respond to public comments but may request an extension. A copy of the comments submitted today is available upon request. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><em><strong>Download a PDF of the release <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/PRESS%20RELEASE_MPEA%20Comment_IATP%20and%20MCEA.pdf">here</a>. </strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Read IATP's comments <a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/comments-draft-supplemental-environmental-assessment-worksheet-daley-farms-lewiston-llp">here</a>. </strong></em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 06 Mar 2020 19:01:57 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44189 at https://www.iatp.org Agriculture Resilience Act offers climate change solutions for farmers https://www.iatp.org/blog/202002/agriculture-resilience-act-offers-climate-change-solutions-farmers <span>Agriculture Resilience Act offers climate change solutions for farmers </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/26/2020 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This week, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) <a href="https://pingree.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=3267">introduced</a> the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5861/text?r=1&amp;s=2">Agriculture Resilience Act</a>, a bill that addresses the role of agriculture in combating climate change with a suite of science-based and farmer-driven policy ideas. Congress failed to respond to the climate crisis in the 2018 Farm Bill, and Representative Pingree, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, is stepping up with a new proposal to transform far</div> Wed, 26 Feb 2020 16:00:00 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44172 at https://www.iatp.org Keeping conservation dollars climate-friendly https://www.iatp.org/blog/202002/keeping-conservation-dollars-climate-friendly <span>Keeping conservation dollars climate-friendly</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/19/2020 - 09:37</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span><span>The Farm Bill’s conservation title includes a suite of programs that pay farmers for implementing conservation projects on their land. These programs are beneficial for numerous reasons: they encourage practices that sequester carbon, clean up the water, create wildlife habitat and make farms more resilient to extreme weather.</div> Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:37:14 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44167 at https://www.iatp.org Carbon markets have no place in climate policy, will not help agriculture https://www.iatp.org/documents/carbon-markets-have-no-place-climate-policy-will-not-help-agriculture <div data-history-node-id="44158" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-climate-change has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > A new factsheet released by Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) warns of the ineffectiveness of carbon markets and how they will not help agriculture. </h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>IATP and NFFC</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/PRESS%20RELEASE_Carbon%20Markets%20in%20Agriculture.pdf">Download the PDF of the release.</a></em></p> <p><span><strong>MINNEAPOLIS</strong>—Carbon markets have a bad track record yet remain a default recommendation in policy proposals promising the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In practice, these markets enable the perpetuation of pollution, environmental injustices and fraud. Successful climate and agriculture policies must not include carbon markets, caution <a href="https://www.iatp.org/">IATP</a> and <a href="https://nffc.net/">NFFC</a> in the <a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/why-carbon-markets-wont-work-agriculture">new factsheet</a>. </span></p> <p><span>The price of carbon credits has historically been too low to effectively reduce GHG emissions. In addition, polluters often move their operations outside of a carbon market area to evade regulation. With most power plants and polluting industries located near low-income, minority and other disadvantaged communities, carbon markets disproportionately impact these communities. </span></p> <p><span>When it comes to agriculture, carbon markets are especially detrimental. Soil carbon offsets count carbon sequestered in the soil as mitigation for carbon emissions elsewhere. However, tools to measure soil carbon accurately and reliably do not exist. In addition, soil carbon storage is highly impermanent; a change in land management practices or severe weather events can release carbon from the soil rapidly. While public resources should support farmers to integrate conservation practices into their operations, they should not be tied to a volatile carbon market that could make farming more economically unstable. Ultimately, paying farmers for soil carbon offsets treats agricultural land simply as a carbon sink, discounting its other functions such as production for local food systems. </span></p> <p><span>According to Jim Goodman, retired organic dairy farmer in Wisconsin and NFFC board president, “The last thing we should be doing is turning carbon into another commodity to be sold or traded in the global economy. Carbon markets will do nothing to reduce GHG emissions. All they will do is create another way for polluters to profit from their lack of environmental concern.”</span></p> <p><span>For several years, family farmers have struggled with low prices, sinking incomes and increasing climate disruptions, and carbon markets will not provide a solution to these challenges. In fact, farmers are already speaking out against the detriments of carbon markets. </span></p> <p><span>Elizabeth Henderson, an organic CSA farmer with NOFA-New York, says, "As a farmer, I reject solutions like carbon markets that leave power in the hands of the dominant corporations that have led us to the farm crisis we have been living through. Instead, we need public policy that incentivizes a culture of soil health, paying farmers for healthy soils practices and the ecological services that come with them, like reducing erosion, building farm resilience to climate extremes of drought and heavy rains and increasing soil carbon." </span></p> <p><span>Jason Jarvis, a commercial fisherman in Rhode Island on the board of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, adds that the national fisheries “Catch Share” policies further privatizing fisheries access were modeled after carbon cap-and-trade. “In the same way that Catch Shares have not saved the fish or fishermen, carbon markets won't solve the climate problem." </span></p> <p><span>Addressing the climate crisis and ensuring a just transition will take forward-thinking public investment combined with strong regulation. Carbon markets will not contribute to these goals. Rather, they let big polluters off the hook, fail the needs of family farmers and fishermen and ignore innovative community-based approaches.</span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/PRESS%20RELEASE_Carbon%20Markets%20in%20Agriculture.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=204686" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">PRESS RELEASE_Carbon Markets in Agriculture.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">199.89 KB</span></span></div> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/2020_01_CarbonMarketsAndAg_FINAL_0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=842373" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">2020_01_CarbonMarketsAndAg_FINAL_0.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">822.63 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/issues/climate-change" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 05 Feb 2020 15:34:52 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44158 at https://www.iatp.org A false solution: Why carbon markets don’t work for agriculture https://www.iatp.org/blog/202002/false-solution-why-carbon-markets-dont-work-agriculture <span>A false solution: Why carbon markets don’t work for agriculture</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/05/2020 - 09:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>After too many years of inaction, climate policies are rapidly being introduced at the state and federal levels. Despite their poor track record, carbon markets feature heavily in many forthcoming climate policy proposals. A <span>new <a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/why-carbon-markets-wont-work-agriculture">factsheet</a> </span>jointly released by IATP and the <a href="https://nffc.net/">National Family Farm Coalition</a> (NFFC) details why carbon markets will not work for agriculture.</span></span></span></p></div> Wed, 05 Feb 2020 15:00:00 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44156 at https://www.iatp.org Why Carbon Markets Won't Work for Agriculture https://www.iatp.org/documents/why-carbon-markets-wont-work-agriculture <div data-history-node-id="44157" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-climate-change has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>IATP and National Family Farm Coalition </p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><strong><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/2020_01_CarbonMarketsAndAg_FINAL.pdf">Download the PDF of the factsheet.</a></strong></em></p> <p>Despite their poor track record, carbon markets have become the default recommendation for many climate policy proposals at the state and national level. These markets have not led to real, sustainable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, pose direct risks to the health and economic security of communities and distract from stronger policies that better reflect the urgency of the climate crisis. Family farmers struggling with sinking incomes, low prices and increasing climate disruptions need a strong, stable policy framework that supports longterm climate and economic resilience. As agriculture is increasingly integrated into climate proposals, we must ensure that it does not get tied to risky carbon markets.</p> <h3>WHAT IS A CARBON MARKET?</h3> <p>A carbon market sets a cap on allowable GHG emissions with that cap declining as the years go on to gradually meet emissions reduction goals. The government issues emissions credits that add up to the cap on emissions. Covered entities can buy and sell emissions credits as necessary, creating a financial incentive for them to pollute less. In practice, these markets are full of loopholes that allow polluters to continue to pollute.</p> <h3>WHY CARBON MARKETS DON’T WORK</h3> <h4>Emission credit prices are too low</h4> <p>A World Bank Report estimates that to meet the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement, emission credit prices need to be between $40-80 by 2020. By comparison, credits in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon market encompassing nine northeastern states, sold for between $5-6 for all of 2019, and the California carbon market’s credits sold for around $17 throughout 2019. These prices are far too low to drive down emissions. A recent analysis found that oil and gas company emissions in California have gone up in the period the California carbon market has been active. Polluters benefit when carbon credits are cheap and abundant and have even succeeded in getting most of their credits for free.</p> <h4>Leakage and offsets</h4> <p>Leakage is a phenomenon where covered entities move their operations outside of the market’s area to areas with less stringent climate rules. This makes it appear as though the market has reduced emissions even though overall emissions rise. Many carbon markets allow offsetting, where a reduction in GHG emissions in one sector is allowed to compensate for emissions elsewhere. Frequently, offsets are not additional (new practices) or permanent, thereby failing to meaningfully reduce GHG emissions while allowing polluters to continue polluting. Some carbon markets, including California’s, allow offsets from outside the market’s boundaries and sometimes from outside the country. This leads to even less accountability, and in many cases, fraud.</p> <h4>Environmental justice impacts</h4> <p>Many rural communities oppose carbon markets because they disproportionately impact low-income, minority and other disadvantaged communities. One company can buy up a large amount of credits to continue emitting or even increase their emissions, thus shirking responsibilities to address localized impacts from pollution. Because most power plants and polluting industries are situated in or near low income communities and communities of color, the continuing or even increased pollution in certain locations will harm those communities disproportionately. Internationally, carbon credit projects have long been linked to land grabbing and exploitation of small-scale farmers and rural communities.</p> <h3>WHY AGRICULTURE SHOULDN’T BE PART OF A CARBON MARKET</h3> <h4>Inadequate measurement tools</h4> <p>The tools to measure soil carbon to the degree of accuracy and reliability that a market would require do not currently exist. A recent study showed that three commonly-used measurement tools for soil carbon all yielded different results. Other studies show that focusing on the top 6 to 12 inches of the soil profile may overestimate the amount of carbon sequestered through no-till. Another challenge is how much soil carbon stocks differ geographically. Even in apparently uniform fields, soil carbon content may vary by as much as fivefold. Without measurement tools that are accurate, quantifying soil carbon to use in a carbon market is a guessing game and does not guarantee actual emissions reductions.</p> <h4>Impermanence</h4> <p>Soil carbon offsets allow carbon sequestered in the soil to count as mitigation for emissions elsewhere. The problem is that soil carbon storage is extremely impermanent; any carbon sequestered in the soil can be released with a change in land management practices or through severe weather events. Much of the carbon sequestered from no-till aggregates near the soil surface, where it’s vulnerable to rapid oxidation after even a single tillage pass. Most no-till farmers till once every several years to deal with weeds, which releases much of the carbon stored. Even long-term contracts that bind land managers to use certain practices do not ensure permanence since the carbon stored can be released back into the atmosphere as soon as the contract is up if the land manager returns to less climate-friendly practices.</p> <h4>Volatile prices</h4> <p>Under these programs, farmers are responsible for implementing land management practices to sequester carbon. Transitioning to conservation practices such as cover crops, no-till and diversified rotations can require different equipment, inputs and knowledge. Historically, carbon credit prices have been far too low to fairly incentivize such large-scale land management changes.While public resources should support farmers to integrate conservation practices into their operations, they should not be tied to a volatile market that could make farming more economically unstable. </p> <h4>Carbon markets undermine more effective and holistic agricultural practices</h4> <p>Paying farmers for soil carbon offsets treats agricultural land narrowly as a carbon sink. Production for local food systems becomes a secondary function of farmland, bringing with it a range of social, economic and food justice concerns, particularly in areas where corporate retailers are divesting from rural communities.There are multiple benefits of a climate-friendly agricultural system, including healthier soils, clean water, wildlife habitat, and farm resilience to drought and flooding. Research shows that integrated systems of practices based on sound agroecological principles have the greatest potential to mitigate agricultural GHG emissions, sequester and stabilize soil carbon, and attain the full measure of a productive and resilient agricultural system. Practices designed primarily to generate carbon credits will not lead to such innovative and comprehensive approaches. Furthermore, offset projects in a carbon market tend to work best for large-scale farms, raising concerns that corporate investment in carbon markets will contribute to further consolidation of agricultural land and disadvantage small to mid-sized farmers. Focusing on resilient agroecological systems rather than on the amount of carbon sequestered can benefit farmers of all sizes. </p> <h3>HOW TO MOVE FORWARD</h3> <p>The urgency of the climate crisis and the systemic economic challenges facing rural America require us to advance policies that result in real GHG reductions while prioritizing the needs and interests of rural, frontline and farming communities most impacted by climate change. We need proven regulatory approaches that hold big polluters accountable. </p> <p>To complement necessary regulatory approaches, we need programs that support climate-friendly agricultural and land management practices and improve farm profitability for those living on and working the land. Examples of predictable public funding for farmers to build resilient operations exist. Federal farm conservation programs including the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program provide cost-share for farmers who want to use conservation practices. These programs are regularly over-enrolled and need increased funding to allow more farmers to access them. In addition, some states are creating their own programs to address the challenge. The cover crop program through the Maryland Department of Agriculture significantly improved water quality in the Chesapeake Bay area by paying farmers to plant cover crops. The California Healthy Soils Program provides financial assistance for implementing conservation practices that improve soil health and sequester carbon. These state programs are successful examples of supporting climate-friendly agriculture outside of an offset market.</p> <p>Corporate control of our food and agriculture system is antithetical to efforts to address the climate crisis. Expanding farmer conservation programs must be linked to strong antitrust enforcement, checks on corporate power and limitations on industry access to public programs targeted for family farmers. Examples include using supply management to raise farmgate prices while limiting over-production of commodity crops, addressing corporate concentration in the agriculture sector, strengthening the rights of contract farmers in animal agriculture and limiting corporate ownership of agricultural land, particularly in communities of color.</p> <p>Addressing the climate crisis and ensuring a just transition will take forward-thinking public investment combined with strong regulation. Carbon markets will not get us there. They let big polluters off the hook, fail the needs of the family farming sector and ignore innovative community-based approaches. If Congress wants to maximize soil carbon sequestration and reduce emissions from agriculture, it should take proactive efforts to scale-up public resources for conservation practices while enacting commonsense checks on corporate concentration in the agriculture sector.</p> <p>Download the full factsheet <strong><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/2020_01_CarbonMarketsAndAg_FINAL.pdf">here</a></strong>. </p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/2020_01_CarbonMarketsAndAg_FINAL.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=842373" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">2020_01_CarbonMarketsAndAg_FINAL.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">822.63 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/issues/climate-change" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 04 Feb 2020 19:04:09 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44157 at https://www.iatp.org 2020 – A year and decisive decade of climate reckoning: What policymakers do next on agriculture matters https://www.iatp.org/blog/202002/2020-year-and-decisive-decade-climate-reckoning-what-policymakers-do-next-agriculture <span>2020 – A year and decisive decade of climate reckoning: What policymakers do next on agriculture matters </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/03/2020 - 15:16</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><strong>This blog is the second in a series of two posts about agriculture in the U.N. climate negotiations and what to look for in 2020. </strong></em><strong><em>Read the first blog post <a href="https://www.iatp.org/blog/202001/young-mighty-youth-are-making-difference-climate-talks">here</a>.  </em></strong></p></div> Mon, 03 Feb 2020 21:16:36 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44152 at https://www.iatp.org Young but mighty: The youth are making a difference at climate talks https://www.iatp.org/blog/202001/young-mighty-youth-are-making-difference-climate-talks <span>Young but mighty: The youth are making a difference at climate talks</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/28/2020 - 16:45</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><em><strong><span>This blog is the first in a series of two posts about agriculture in the U.N. climate negotiations and what to look for in 2020. This blog post was written by youth activists and guest bloggers Amélie Dupendant and Lorine Azoulai, who attended a UNFCCC COP for the first time as YOUNGO representatives in December 2019. Read the YOUNGO statement, presented at the agriculture discussions at COP 25 <a href="https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/Youngo%20Statement.pdf">here</a>. </span></strong></em></span></span></p> <p> </p></div> Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:45:12 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44150 at https://www.iatp.org