Friends of the Earth Statement on USDA’s Climate Plan 90-Day Progress Report

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the USDA released an outline of its climate strategy that offers vague plans for how it will support what it calls “climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices,” including no-till, cover crops, ruminant feed management, and manure management.  

The 20-page document indicates that the agency’s final plan will rely on factory farm biogas, biofuels, and voluntary carbon markets as core strategies despite evidence that these measures are ineffective and disproportionately harm communities of color. The plan includes no mention of any regulatory efforts or plans to shift the types of food grown domestically. Also missing are plans for the agency’s own food procurement, as well as its oversight of nutrition programs, which both have major implications for climate change.  

Chloe Waterman, Senior Program Manager at Friends of the Earth U.S. said: 

USDA is setting itself up to fail on its climate and environmental justice goals. Voluntary implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices is a half-measure at a time we cannot afford anything short of a bold transformation of our food system.  

The USDA should take a science-driven approach in its full climate plan that shifts subsidies away from monoculture and factory farming, prioritizes the health and well-being of frontline communities, and invests in diversified, ecologically regenerative and organic agriculture.

Communications contact: Kaela Bamberger, 202-222-0703, [email protected]


 

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