In Europe and New Zealand, legislation is pushing farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emission by implementing sustainable farming practices. The US is taking a different approach
At the beginning of February, US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities – US$1bn in funds for pilot projects that create market opportunities for US ag and forestry products. The funds will be made available to farmers through pilot projects using climate-smart practices, including carbon sequestering and innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits of the farming practices.
Through the funding, USDA will provide targeted funding to meet national and global demand and expand market opportunities by increasing American producers’ competitive advantage, according to Vilsack. US farmers are encouraged to seek funding through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation for projects which implement climate-smart production practices, activities and systems on farmland as well as projects that measure or quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with the practices.
In Europe, the European Commission uses legislation through the Union’s Common Agriculture Policy to achieve a green and sustainable system of agriculture in the EU. Farmers in the EU have their CAP payments linked to a set of mandatory rules which includes climate tracking, soil protection and biodiversity. While New Zealand’s He Waka Eke Noa is a partnership between the New Zealand Government and the agriculture sector to develop guides for farmers to help measure, manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By 2025, all farms in New Zealand will have written plans to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions with an on-farm pricing system which includes carbon sequestration.