First Comprehensive Climate & Agriculture Bill Introduced in Congress
On February 26, farmer and Maine Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), which addresses the role of agriculture in combatting climate change. The bill establishes a set of aggressive but realistic goals for farmers to help mitigate climate change and increase agricultural resilience, starting with the overarching goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. agriculture by no later than 2040.
The legislation’s substantive programmatic sections are divided into six additional titles – agricultural research, soil health, farmland preservation and viability, pasture-based livestock, on-farm renewable energy, and food waste. KRC joins the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in applauding the introduction of this bill. In response, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) issued the following comment:
“NSAC is proud to endorse the Agriculture Resilience Act and wish to thank Representative Pingree for her ongoing leadership in this vital work,” said NSAC Policy Director Eric Deeble. “This marker bill represents our nation’s first piece of comprehensive legislation on climate and agriculture, and includes a host of actionable steps toward achieving net zero emissions by 2040. The tenets of this bill are fully in line with the recommendations of NSAC’s recent climate report, Agriculture and Climate Change: Policy Imperatives and Opportunities to Help Producers Meet the Challenge, and have the full support of our 130+ members nationwide.”
“Too much of the national conversation about climate change has ignored the role of agriculture, or even worse, singled out farmers as part of the problem without also recognizing them as an essential part of the solution,” said Deeble. “This legislation correctly positions agriculture as central to meaningful and long-lasting policy action on climate change. Day in and day out, farmers are on the front lines fighting the drought, floods, pests, and disease pressures that come with a rapidly changing climate. Farmers know what’s at stake, and they know how important healthy soils and resilient, sustainable ecosystems are to not just the future of farming, but the future of everything. NSAC is pleased to support this important bill, and to continue leading the charge on Capitol Hill for policies that support sustainable family farming.”
The Kansas Rural Center is a member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalitions 100 plus members grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. You can access more on the Agriculture Resilience Act at NSAC’s website at sustainableagriculture.net , and access NSAC’s climate report at https://sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/NSAC-Climate-Change-Policy-Position_paper-112019_WEB.