Climate change is a hot topic for the 2020 election, and tonight, 10 Democratic presidential candidates will meet at the CNN Town Hall to discuss it. In addition to climate change, agriculture has been in the spotlight recently, and tonight promises to continue that trend.
Dr. Jennifer Moore-Kucera, American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Combat Climate Change director said, “No debate about climate change is complete without addressing the role America’s farmers and ranchers must play if we are to leave a sustainable future to our children and future generations.
“With the CNN Town Hall on climate change featuring interviews with Democratic presidential candidates set for tonight at 5 p.m. EDT, I believe it is important to provide context for the conversation as it relates to both the challenges and opportunities related to helping farmers and ranchers combat climate change.
“AFT president and CEO, John Piotti, in his statement immediately following the Aug. 8 release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report ‘Climate Change and Land,’ said — ‘The good news is that agriculture and natural and working-land solutions in themselves offer the most promising possibility to save our society, (quoting the report) ‘cost-effective, immediate, and long term benefits.’’’
“Cost-effective, immediate, with many co-benefits — farmland that grows our food, but also retains water, mitigates floods and droughts, provides open space for recreation and habitat for wildlife.
“At AFT, we are focused on helping farmers and ranchers deliver on this promising possibility through our Farmers Combat Climate Change initiative, centered around three imperatives:
- Protect farmland and promote smart growth to significantly reduce emissions
- Improve soil health to help reverse climate change and improve resiliency
- Identify and promote the generation of clean, smart, efficient and renewable energy on farms
“Our work is important and making a real-world impact on our farms and ranches, but we need federal, state and local governments as well as private citizens to join our cause. We need more supportive farm policies with payment for eco-services and eco-markets to help take full advantage of farmland’s ability to sequester carbon and optimize co-benefits.
“It may not seem obvious, but our food security could be in real trouble if we don’t act and act now in a holistic way, said best in AFT’s mission statement – saving the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, implementing environmentally sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.
“I look forward to following tonight’s conversation and hope others will pay particular attention to what the candidates are saying about climate change in the context of farming and ranching.”
Some candidates have already released their plans in advance of the town hall to stand out from the rest.