Finding sustainable climate solutions in agriculture

While agriculture continues to adapt to more advanced technology, conservation efforts and climate change initiatives have also increased as farmers juggle sustainability.

The Environmental Defense Fund is one group that supports the Growing Climate Solutions Act introduced in the Senate.

“It is a really exciting concept, because it’s taking the challenge of tackling climate change and giving farmers an opportunity to contribute to the solution,” said Callie Eideberg with EDF. “So, this bill puts together the tools and the framework to make it easier for farmers to develop and verify and sell environmentally...into existing marketplace or companies that are trying to offset their own impacts on the environment.”

If passed, she says that the bill would allow farmers to contribute to environmental benefits while also seeing a return for those investments. However, one expert says that the bill mentions just one form of conservation reward, conservation credit purchasing.

Greg Ruehle, Servi-Tech CEO, says that it is a bit of a challenge to find an offset in one area that is going to mitigate the impact created in another.

“You can theorize this is a great way to build some renewable credits, and reward farmers for doing the great conservation practices they have been doing, the practical side of it is, the marketplace is still trying to work through how to make that happen and to do so in a way that’s equitable and fair and has a long-lasting, positive impact,” he said.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act would direct the USDA to create a certification program for farmers to develop, verify and sell environmental credits.