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Senate Tells USDA to Define High-Quality Agricultural Carbon Credits and Streamline Market Participation

EDF statement from Elizabeth Gore, senior vice president, Political Affairs

June 24, 2021

Hilary Kirwan, (202) 572-3277, hkirwan@edf.org

(WASHINGTON, DC) “The Senate’s passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act is an important step toward improving the integrity of agricultural carbon credits and making it easier for farmers to participate in and benefit from carbon markets.

“Agricultural carbon markets are developing quickly, creating opportunities for producers to generate revenue from reducing emissions or sequestering carbon. But without any defined guardrails for high-quality credits, it can be risky for them to participate in markets and hard to determine whether credits represent net positive climate impacts.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture is perfectly positioned to define science-based best practices for measuring, reporting and verifying agricultural carbon credits, and to certify third-party verifiers who can help farmers validate and sell credits. 

“USDA must also proactively ensure Black farmers and farmers of color have equitable access to participate in and generate revenue from agricultural carbon markets. And while carbon markets can drive pollution reductions at national and global scales, Congress, state and municipal governments must also pass and enforce strong protections for local air and water quality.

“Environmental Defense Fund thanks Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Mike Braun (R-IN) for championing this bill for two years and all of the co-sponsors for supporting agricultural climate solutions. EDF hopes to see swift bipartisan action to pass this bill in the House.”

Read this blog post for additional information about the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

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