Today, Family Farm Action Alliance submitted a comment on President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad to the USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist.. The comment championed support for programs that incentivize independent farmers and ranchers to implement climate change mitigation and carbon sequestering practices. The comment also raised an alarm for any climate solution policy that did not include:
- Preemptive antitrust and competition protections;
- Scientific regulation and oversight by USDA, as opposed to corporate agribusinesses;
- Equitable access for all independent farmers and ranchers, regardless of size or land tenure status; and
- Disincentivizing agribusiness practices that produce high levels of greenhouse gasses.
While the comment addressed key issues identified by USDA, it went further to make policy recommendations that would center farmers and ranchers as a part of the climate solution while detailing the safeguards needed to deter the continued concentration of the food system. The comment also addressed market competition, finance, and environmental justice for disadvantaged farmers and their communities. It detailed specific warnings if Congress and the federal government were to advance a carbon credit program stating:
“… if a carbon bank or carbon market is to be administered, we require significant market protections through antitrust enforcement and transparent carbon credit commodity price-setting mechanisms be in place to protect independent farmers and ranchers.”
Family Farm Action Alliance is hopeful that this comment will contribute to meaningful climate solutions and provide the framework needed for a just food and agriculture system.
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