The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program today awarded $2.8 billion in funding to pilot projects that develop and expand markets for crops and livestock farmed in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.
“USDA saw overwhelming interest from farmers, ranchers and foresters to accelerate agriculture’s capacity to deliver climate benefits. The agency met the moment, nearly tripling their original $1 billion commitment and creating a dedicated pool of funding for climate projects that expand opportunities for farmers of color, beginning farmers and other historically marginalized producers.
“This is the decisive decade for determining what our climate future will be. Agriculture currently contributes 10% of U.S. emissions, but it has enormous capacity to be part of the solution. USDA’s increased investment will equip producers to cut emissions and make their businesses more resilient. It will boost scientific research to measure climate progress over time.
“The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, of which EDF is a founding member, called on USDA to create a climate-focused pilot program last year, and that recommendation was the basis for this program. EDF is thrilled to see those ideas come to fruition with so much momentum behind them.
“EDF contributed to multiple proposals that were awarded grants under the program. These include: a project led by the University of Arizona, which will involve several tribes, Bridgestone Americas and OpenET to accelerate the transition to climate-smart, lower-water-use agricultural practices in the Southwest; and a project led by Field to Market that will use innovative finance mechanisms to accelerate climate-smart practice adoption and increase demand for climate-smart commodities.”
- Britt Groosman, vice president, Climate-Smart Agriculture
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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @GrowingReturns and our Growing Returns blog.