New carbon scheme legislation is the wrong solution for our climate and food system

WASHINGTON – Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced legislation this week pushing farmers to sequester carbon.

Karen Orenstein, climate and energy director with Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement in response:

The ‘Growing Climate Solutions Act’ would be more appropriately called the ‘False Climate Solutions Act.’ More than a decade of carbon trading has shown clearly that carbon markets have been gamed to benefit polluters, failed to reduce emissions in line with science, and have even led to increased emissions in many cases. They have exacerbated pollution hotspots in low-wealth communities and communities of color in the U.S. and throughout developing countries.

Less than a decade remains to have any reasonable chance of keeping global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gas reductions must be absolute reductions without any possibility of offsets.

Lisa Archer, food and agriculture director for Friends of the Earth, added:

We need policies that help farmers adopt ecologically regenerative practices, which enhance soil health, protect biodiversity, and help make our food system more resilient to the climate crisis. However, carbon markets are a false solution for combatting climate change and providing opportunities for America’s family farmers.

Ecologically regenerative farming should be incentivized in addition to, and not instead of, carbon reductions in the energy sector. Family farmers should be supported in these efforts with structural reforms that ensure fair markets and fair prices, rather than creating more false promises of new markets that will predominantly benefit Big Ag.

Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, [email protected]

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