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Yesterday the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue< announced a series of goals intended to make the farming sector more sustainable, including an effort to cut the carbon footprint of agriculture in half and reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030, The Hill reported. And the Farm Bureau is leading a new organization called Farmers for a Sustainable Future, that E&E News reports will advocate on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and agriculture producers for voluntary rather than mandatory measures to combat climate change.
Why This Matters: The agriculture sector, according to E&E News, accounts for 9% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which is less than the transportation (29%) and electricity (28%) sectors, according to EPA. But the 2018 National Climate Assessment stated that reducing agricultural emissions “could have a significant impact on total U.S. emissions.” Moreover, the Administration may be looking to the agriculture sector to sequester more carbon emissions, consistent with Congressional Republicans’ climate plans to plant more trees. According to a recent study by Yale, more than half of Americans (55%) say they are willing to eat more plant-based meat alternatives and nearly half (46%) say they are willing to use dairy alternatives (soy milk, almond milk, etc.) instead of dairy-based milk or cream. The Farm Bureau may be willing to talk about climate change but could use their muscle and the “cover” of this new group to block any real action. We will see.
While it attempts to seem progressive, Farmers for a Sustainable Future seems to be set up to block more climate policies than it is willing to get behind. The group wants to “incentivize innovation” using “[v]oluntary, incentive-based programs that enhance farmers’ and ranchers’ profitability and production methods, which have already allowed agriculture to achieve significant sustainability gains.” But they want to have their cake and eat it too — they are also asking for “[i]nitiatives to maintain and improve infrastructure capacity to support farm and ranch operations, rural communities, and related agricultural businesses.” However, they also say that farmers want to “leave the land better than when it was first entrusted to our care…and protect the planet, feed and clothe people, and promote vibrant communities.”
As Axios reported yesterday based on insight received from the Biden campaign: foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November— starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response. Why This Matters: Even though most […]
A new study shows that climate change in the 150 years since the industrial revolution has canceled out the prior 6500 years of cooling. The study, conducted by researchers at Northern Arizona University’s School of Earth and Sustainability (SES), examined a new compilation of paleoclimate data along with new statistical analyses and found that millennial-scale […]
There’s been ample research to show that the Arctic is warming much faster than any other region on the planet. However, there’s been little media focus on what’s happening on the opposite side of the planet, until now. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday has revealed that the South […]
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