The U.S. Senate passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act today. The act has 55 cosponsors, which makes it the first major piece of bipartisan legislation that would help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience through voluntary, market-driven programs. The Growing Climate Solutions Act passed by a vote of 92-8.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act is supported by more than 75 agriculture, food, forestry and environmental groups that are part of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA). The alliance advocates for responsible policies that build on voluntary, incentive-based programs, market-driven opportunities and science-based approaches.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act would provide clarity and guidance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in voluntary participation in private carbon credit markets. With a growing number of ecosystem service providers, producers seek a trusted source for reliable information.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act would also create a certification program at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers. Landowner participation and the adoption of practices have been slowed by a lack of access to reliable information about private carbon markets, as well as too few qualified technical assistance providers and credit protocol verifiers.
The agriculture industry supported and welcomed the passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in the Senate.
“The Growing Climate Solutions Act demonstrates how far we’ve come in climate policy over the past decade,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “Farm Bureau has worked tirelessly through the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance and directly with lawmakers to help them understand the importance of working with America’s farmers and ranchers to ensure climate policy remains voluntary and market-driven. We encourage members of the House to follow the Senate’s lead and work in a bipartisan manner to create responsible policy that protects the environment and protects the farmers and ranchers who rely on clean air and water to feed the nation.”
National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said, “This important legislation will enable USDA to informally endorse technical service providers that help farmers implement stewardship practices that can generate carbon and other environmental credits. The Growing Climate Solutions Act will encourage more farmers to participate in environmental markets, a crucial part of dairy’s Net Zero Initiative that helps dairy farmers of all sizes across the country meet our industry’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barb Glenn said, “Through its voluntary structure and focus on supporting farmers, The Growing Climate Solutions Act enables all agricultural producers to further embrace climate smart practices with new educational resources and economic certainty. State departments of agriculture ardently work to ensure the prosperity of agriculture and welcome the opportunity to assist farmers seeking to enter the carbon market.”