Agriculture https://www.iatp.org/ en Resolving the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007 https://www.iatp.org/documents/resolving-the-food-crisis-assessing-global-policy-reforms-since-2007 <div data-history-node-id="41680" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss 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>Timothy A. Wise</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h3>Executive summary</h3> <p>The recent spikes in global food-prices in 2007-08 served as a wake-up call to the global community on the inadequacies of our global food system. Commodity prices doubled, the estimated number of hungry people topped one billion and food riots spread through the developing world. A second price spike in 2010-11, which is expected to drive the global food import bill for 2011 to an astonishing $1.3 trillion, only deepened the sense that the policies and principles guiding agricultural development and food security were deeply flawed. </p> <p>There is now widespread agreement that international agricultural prices will remain significantly higher than precrisis levels for at least the next decade, with many warning that demand will outstrip supply by 2050 unless concerted action is taken to address the underlying problems with our food system.</p> <p>The crisis certainly awakened the global community. Since 2007, governments and international agencies have made food security a priority issue, and with a decidedly different tone. They stress the importance of agricultural development and food production in developing countries, the key role of small-scale farmers and women, the challenge of limited resources in a climate-constrained world, the important role of the state in “country-led” agricultural development programs, the critical role of public investment. For many, these priorities represent a sea change from policies that sought to free markets from government policies seen as hampering efficient resource allocation. Now that those policies and markets have failed to deliver food security, the debates over how countries and international institutions should manage our food system are more open than they have been in decades.</p> <p>The purpose of this report is to look beyond the proclamations and communiqués to assess what has really changed since the crisis erupted. While not exhaustive, the report looks at: Overseas Development Assistance, both in terms of how much and what is funded; Multilateral Development Banks’ policies and programs; selected U.N. agencies and initiatives, notably the Committee on Food Security (CFS); the G-20 group of economically powerful governments; and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, who has injected a resonant “right to food” approach to the issue.</p> <p> </p> <ul><li>low levels of investment in developing-country agriculture in general and small-scale agriculture in particular; </li> <li>reduced support for publicly funded research and development and increased reliance on private research;</li> <li>a reliance on international trade to meet domestic food needs in poor countries that can ill-afford the import dependence and declining local production; </li> <li> <div>a bias toward cash crops for export over food production for domestic markets; </div> </li> <li> <div>increasing land use for non-food agricultural crops such as biofuels for industrial uses;</div> </li> <li> <div>support for high-input agricultural methods over more environmentally sustainable low-input systems; </div> </li> <li> <div>inadequate attention to the linkages between climate change and food security; and </div> </li> <li> <div>deregulation of commodity markets and increasing financial speculation in agricultural commodities,  including staple food crops as well as land.</div> </li> </ul><h4>Findings</h4> <div>Our review suggests that on the positive side, the food crisis was an important catalyst for change. As high prices persisted and public protest mounted, many governments were confronted with “moments of truth,” the cumulative result of which was to question some of the assumptions that had driven food and agriculture policy over the past few decades. This prompted renwed attention to agricultural development, reversing the long-standing neglect of agriculture as a vital economic sector. It also brought some important new funding, though at levels still far short of what is needed. </div> <div> </div> <div>The stated priorities for much of that funding suggest distinct improvement over the policies of the past few decades. The needs and political voices of small-scale farmers and women; environmental issues, including climate change; and, the weaknesses of international markets now receive more attention. The additional funding for these important areas is also driven by greater openness to country-led programs with strong state involvement, a marked change from past priorities. </div> <div> </div> <div>Our review suggests areas of great concern, though. We see neither the necessary urgency nor the willingness to change policies that contributed to the recent crisis. New international funding is welcome, but only $6.1 billion of the G-8’s pledged $22 billion, three-year commitment represents new money, and those pledges have been slow to materialize and are now threatened with cutbacks as developed countries adopt austerity measures. The overwhelming priority is to increase production. There are reasons to focus on this, specifically within low-income net-food importing countries. The setting of production targets at the global level, however, encourages an expansion in industrial agriculture and the consolidation of land holdings, including land grabs, and ignores environmental constraints and equity issues. </div> <div> </div> <div>Beyond funding, we find that the policies that contributed to the recent food-price crisis have gone largely unchanged, leaving global food security as fragile as ever. The world needs policies that discourage biofuels expansion, regulate financial speculation, limit irresponsible land investments, encourage the use of buffer stocks, move away from fossil fuel dependence and toward agro-ecological practices, and reform global agricultural trade rules to support rather than undermine food security objectives. </div> <div> </div> <div>Unfortunately, we find that the international institutions reviewed have shown too little resolve to address these issues. Although at the G-20 the world’s most economically powerful nations have asserted leadership on food security, their actions have been tepid if not counterproductive. This has had a chilling effect on reform efforts elsewhere in the international system, most notably at the United Nations. This raises important governance issues. The U.N.’s CFS is formally recognized by most institutions as the appropriate body to </div> <div>coordinate the global response to the food crisis, because of both its mandate and its inclusive, multi- takeholder structure. Yet in practice the G-20 has systematically constrained the reform agenda. Similarly, the WTO’s recent efforts to give the Doha Agenda more relevance by including food security issues in the form of restrictions on exporting countries’ use of export tariffs have failed, because many of the exporters (most of the G-20 members) refuse to surrender that policy space. Not surprisingly, importing countries’ wish for the same policy space with regard to their imports are now more determined than ever to insist on their rights.</div> <div> </div> <div>The recent food-price crisis exposed the fragility of the global food system. A paradigm shift is underway, caused by the deepening integration of agricultural, energy and financial markets in a resource-constrained world made more vulnerable by climate change. Powerful multinational firms dominate these markets. Many benefit from current policies and practices and their interests are a dominant influence in national and global policies—slowing, diverting, or halting needed action. This leaves international institutions promoting market-friendly reforms but resistant to imposing the concomitant regulations required to ensure well-functioning food and agricultural markets.</div> <div> </div> <div> <div>Three areas in particular demand decisive action:</div> <ul><li>Biofuels expansion – There is a clear international consensus that current policies to encourage biofuel expansion, particularly in the United States and Europe, are a major contributor to rising demand, tight supplies and rising prices. Yet international institutions, from the G-20 to the U.N. High-Level Task Force to the CFS, have diluted their demands for actions to address this problem.</li> <li>Price volatility – High spikes in prices remain a major problem for poor people worldwide, and for foodimporting developing countries in particular. The policy goal, for effective market functioning and for food security, should be relatively stable prices that are remunerative to farmers and affordable to consumers. We find few concrete actions toward this goal. There is strong evidence that financial speculation contributed to recent food-price volatility, though there remains considerable debate on the subject. As an FAO report on the topic noted, there is no demonstrated benefit to the public of allowing such speculation, and the potential costs are huge. Precautionary regulations are warranted but few have been taken. Similarly, the lack of publicly held food reserves contributes to the shortages that make speculation possible while leaving vulnerable countries at risk. Reserves should be explored more actively than simply as emergency regional humanitarian policy instruments. </li> <li>Land grabs – The scale and pace of land grabs is truly alarming, driven by financial speculation and land-banking by sovereign wealth funds in resource-constrained nations. The consensus is that such investments are not good for either food security or development. As laudable as recent efforts are to promote “responsible agricultural investment,” these initiatives risk being “too little too late” for a fast-moving phenomenon. Meanwhile, international institutions, such as the World Bank, must do more to protect smallscale producers’ access to land. </li> </ul><div> </div> <div>Fortunately, many developing countries are not waiting for international action or permission to more aggressively address the problems that can be dealt with at a national or regional level. Many of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) projects in Africa, for example, emphasize the kinds of changes that are needed. CAADP has four pillars: land and water management, market access, food supply and hunger, and agricultural research. Bangladesh and other countries used food reserves to reduce the impact of the food-price spikes in far more ambitious efforts than the G-20 is proposing to support in West Africa. </div> <div> </div> <div>Developing-country governments will be central to bringing about such changes. They need the policy space to pursue their own solutions and they need the support of the international community to demand deeper reform in developed-country policies. The evidence discussed in this report suggests the paradigm shift has started but is incomplete. Many developing-country governments have chosen to step away from the prevailing orthodoxy of the last several decades and are again exploring a larger role for the public sector in governing agriculture and food. Donors, too, have shown some willingness to re-order priorities and to give greater space to agriculture, and to changing priorities within agricultural spending to acknowledge the need for more inclusive and sustainable outcomes. But they still resist more fundamental reform and continue to promote private investment and liberalized markets, relying on humanitarian aid and social safety nets to try to help those who are displaced by the policies.</div> <div> </div> <div>Perhaps not surprisingly, developed-country governments have yet to make the needed changes to their domestic policies. Comfortable with re-ordering development priorities, governments of rich countries have proved unwilling to look at their domestic agricultural economies to see what changes are needed there. If the most powerful countries are not willing to make the changes at home that would help international markets perform better, they should at a minimum stop undermining international efforts, at the U.N. and within </div> <div>and among developing countries, to address the fundamental causes of the food crisis.</div> </div> </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/2012_01_17_ResolvingFoodCrisis_SM_TW.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=885806" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">2012_01_17_ResolvingFoodCrisis_SM_TW.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">865.04 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:48:00 +0000 Andrew Ranallo 41680 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 IATP Testimony in Support of Maine LD 1923, “An Act to Define as a Hazardous Substance Under Maine Law Any Substance Defined under Federal Law as a Hazardous Substance, Pollutant or Contaminant” https://www.iatp.org/documents/iatp-testimony-support-maine-ld-1923-act-define-hazardous-substance-under-maine-law-any <div data-history-node-id="44148" 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-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>IATP's Senior Attorney <a href="https://www.iatp.org/about/staff/sharon-anglin-treat">Sharon Treat</a> presented the following testimony on January 24, 2020. To read the complete testimony, click <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/IATP_Testimony_LD1923_1-24-20FinalPDF.pdf">here</a>. </em></p> <p><em>The Maine PFAS Task Force Final Report is available <a href="https://www1.maine.gov/pfastaskforce/materials/report/PFAS-Task-Force-Report-FINAL-Jan2020.pdf">here</a>. </em></p> <p><strong>Testimony in Support of LD 1923, “An Act to Define as a Hazardous Substance Under Maine Law Any Substance Defined  under Federal Law as a Hazardous Substance, Pollutant or Contaminant”</strong></p> <p><strong>Submitted by Sharon Treat, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy</strong></p> <p><strong>Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources</strong></p> <p><strong>Maine Legislature</strong></p> <p><strong>January 24, 2020 </strong><br />  <br /> Senator Carson, Representative Tucker, and honorable members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. My name is Sharon Treat and I live in Hallowell. I am Senior Attorney for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), on whose behalf I am testifying today in support of LD 1923. <br />  <br /> IATP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota with offices in Hallowell, Maine and other locations.1 As an organization that works closely with farmers and seeks to promote local, sustainable and environmentally beneficial agriculture, IATP is particularly interested in how PFAS contamination is affecting food, farms and farmers. Since the PFAS Task Force first convened in May, we have closely followed its meetings, reviewed the data and findings of the state agencies investigating PFAS contamination and submitted comments on the final <a href="https://www1.maine.gov/pfastaskforce/materials/report/PFAS-Task-Force-Report-FINAL-Jan2020.pdf">PFAS Task Force Report</a>. <br />  <br /> The data make clear that the State of Maine is facing a potentially enormous PFAS contamination problem. LD 1923 provides one tool to start to address that problem, by allowing the State to classify PFAS compounds and other emerging contaminants as hazardous substances under the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Uncontrolled Sites Program, thereby granting the State clear legal authority and freeing up funds to clean up and remediate contamination. Waiting for the federal government to act is not an option. With the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) slow to act and Congress in a policy fight between the House and Senate, 2 the 49 states with confirmed PFAS pollution have been largely left on their own.3 Fortunately, Maine has significant expertise and the experience of years of independent action on toxics. Passing LD 1923 will enable the State to act quickly to protect the public and environment.  </p> <p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/IATP_Testimony_LD1923_1-24-20FinalPDF.pdf"><strong><em>Continue reading the full testimony.</em></strong></a></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/2020-01/IATP_Testimony_LD1923_1-24-20FinalPDF.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=114310" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">IATP_Testimony_LD1923_1-24-20FinalPDF.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">111.63 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="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 24 Jan 2020 20:18:48 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44148 at https://www.iatp.org PFAS Task Force Recommendations Too Weak to Protect Mainers’ Health from "Forever Chemicals" https://www.iatp.org/documents/pfas-task-force-recommendations-too-weak-protect-mainers-health-forever-chemicals <div data-history-node-id="44147" 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"> <h3 > Advocates call on Maine Governor and Legislature to support adoption of health-protective drinking water standard</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> Environmental Health Strategy Center </p></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/FINAL%20Release%20-%20PFAS%20Task%20Force%20Final%20Recommendations.pdf"><em><strong>The media release is also available in downloadable PDF form.</strong></em></a></p> <p><span><span>AUGUSTA—Governor Janet Mills’ PFAS Task Force’s final recommendations, published today, are too weak to adequately protect public health and the environment from toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) pollution in Maine, say health advocates.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The Governor’s Task Force recommends strong action to clean up contaminated sites and prevent future PFAS pollution. But the recommendations fall shockingly short of protecting thousands of Maine people exposed to PFAS in their drinking water at levels deemed unsafe to serve in neighboring New England states,” said Mike Belliveau, a Task Force member and executive director of Environmental Health Strategy Center. “Instead of relying on the Trump Administration’s controversial do-nothing approach, Maine must adopt its own health-protective drinking water standard for PFAS.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Health advocates are calling on Governor Mills, the Maine Legislature, and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to adopt a health-protective drinking water standard, and to give relief to residents across the state who are facing contamination of their land and drinking water from these dangerous chemicals. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“It’s unacceptable that the Task Force is endorsing levels of PFAS in our drinking water five times higher than what our neighbors in New Hampshire have deemed dangerous,” said Phelps Turner, Senior Attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation.<strong> </strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Three New England states are taking a more health-protective approach than Maine, which relies on an outdated federal advisory level that limits the sum of two PFAS chemicals to no more than 70 parts per trillion (ppt) in drinking water. In contrast, Vermont and Massachusetts limits the sum of five or six PFAS to no more than 20 ppt, while New Hampshire recently adopted standards for individual PFAS that range from 11 to 18 ppt. The majority of Maine’s Task Force, led by state agency representatives, voted to stick with the weaker federal action level.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Health advocates were also concerned about the recommendations’ failure to adequately address PFAS pollution from PFAS-contaminated sewage and industrial sludge spread as fertilizer on some Maine farmland.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Sharon Treat, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, said: "Now is the time to transition away from agricultural use of sludge, septage, biosolids and residuals, and to develop a process to engage farmers in planning this change. Initial data from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection show widespread PFAS contamination from sewage sludge spreading and disposal. Ending this practice is the only way to assure that food and farmland is uncontaminated and that Maine's reputation for the highest quality food and agricultural products remains intact."</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The state must also establish a firm timeline for testing all sites where sewer and industrial sludge was spread, and foods and feed grown on those sites, and begin prioritizing those for cleanup,” Belliveau added. “Finally, the state must ensure that PFAS-contaminated sludge is never used as fertilizer or compost in the future.” </span></span></p> <p><span><span>PFAS exposure has been linked to kidney cancer and testicular cancer, as well as thyroid disease, compromised immune systems, and infertility. PFAS are used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as nonstick coatings on cookware and water- and grease-resistant coatings on food packaging, outerwear, and furniture. These chemicals are also used in many firefighting foams, which then contaminate soil and water. State-ordered testing in 2019 revealed nearly all sewage sludge used as fertilizer or for compost in Maine is contaminated with toxic PFAS.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Arundel dairy farmer Fred Stone’s livelihood was ruined by PFAS contamination of his land, cows, and milk—a result of state-sanctioned spreading of sewage and industrial sludge on his farmland as fertilizer. The Task Force recommendations include a suggestion for the legislature to revise Maine’s statute of limitations to allow landowners, like Fred Stone, to seek compensation for pollution of their land that may have occurred in the past but only recently brought to light. Nearly all other sites where sewage and industrial sludge was spread across the state remain untested for PFAS contamination.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>In November, the Maine CDC <a href="https://www.ourhealthyfuture.org/media/maine-discovers-new-toxic-pfas-contamination-drinking-water">reported</a> that PFAS has already contaminated multiple public water supplies, including those serving schools and a preschool.</span></span></p> <p><span><span># # #</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The <a href="https://www.ourhealthyfuture.org/"><strong>Environmental Health Strategy Center </strong></a>works to create a world where all people are healthy and thriving, with equal access to safe food and drinking water, and products that are toxic-free and climate-friendly.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </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/2020-01/FINAL%20Release%20-%20PFAS%20Task%20Force%20Final%20Recommendations.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=185138" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">FINAL Release - PFAS Task Force Final Recommendations.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">180.8 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, 24 Jan 2020 17:28:03 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44147 at https://www.iatp.org WHES2020 | 27,000 take to Berlin’s streets for a better farming and food system https://www.iatp.org/blog/202001/whes2020-27000-take-berlins-streets-better-farming-and-food-system <span>WHES2020 | 27,000 take to Berlin’s streets for a better farming and food system</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/21/2020 - 10:32</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><strong>This article was originally published on <a href="https://www.arc2020.eu/whes2020-27000-take-to-berlins-streets-to-fight-for-a-better-food-system/">ARC2020's website</a> and republished here with permission. </strong></em></p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Photo (c) Wir Haben Es Satt.jpg " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a2d4849e-0850-4a4a-8801-5560dedfb527" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/WHES%202020%20Photo%20%28c%29%20Wir%20Haben%20Es%20Satt.jpg" /><figcaption><em>WHES 2020. Photo (c) Wir Haben Es Satt.</em></figcaption></figure><p> </p></div> Tue, 21 Jan 2020 16:32:36 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44135 at https://www.iatp.org Cory Booker's halt on factory farms would help the climate https://www.iatp.org/blog/202001/cory-bookers-halt-factory-farms-would-help-climate <span>Cory Booker&#039;s halt on factory farms would help the climate</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:47</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><strong>Originally published by <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/15/cory-bookers-halt-factory-farms-would-help-climate">Common Dreams</a> on January 15, 2020. </strong></em></p> <p>Growing momentum to curb large-scale, high polluting animal factory farms could result in a big win for the climate, while aiding independent farmers and ranchers trying to stay afloat in a struggling agriculture economy.</p></div> Thu, 16 Jan 2020 19:47:33 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44134 at https://www.iatp.org IATP submits comments on the Conservation Stewardship Program Interim Final Rule https://www.iatp.org/blog/202001/iatp-submits-comments-conservation-stewardship-program-interim-final-rule <span>IATP submits comments on the Conservation Stewardship Program Interim Final Rule</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/14/2020 - 09:34</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span>The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill has come and gone, but important details about program rules and how they’re implemented are still being hammered out. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is the largest working lands conservation program in the United States, supporting thousands of farmers to implement conservation practices on millions of acres. Despite CSP’s critical importance in supporting sustainable agriculture, the 2018 Farm Bill ordered some changes to CSP that undermine its purpose and create significant barriers to participation.</div> Tue, 14 Jan 2020 15:34:56 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44129 at https://www.iatp.org