Photo of a combine harvesting wheat under a blue and cloudy sky.
Franklin family farm A combine harvesting on The Franklin family farm, located near Lexington, Illinois, on the banks of the Mackinaw River, works in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy to test and demonstrate conservation related agricultural practices that protect and preserve the river watershed. © Timothy T. Lindenbaum

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Senate Approves Growing Climate Solutions Act

Act will help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to implement climate-friendly practices.

The Nature Conservancy applauded the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan approval of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bill that will help link farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to voluntary carbon markets.

“American farmers know that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand,” said Kameran Onley, director of North American Policy and Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy. “This bill will help farmers improve their operations, build new revenue streams, and implement climate-smart practices to safeguard our environment for the future.” 

The bill, which has 51 co-sponsors, was introduced by U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. If approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law, the bill would create a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help solve technical entry barriers for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to access revenues for climate-smart practices. The bill has the support of The Nature Conservancy and dozens of other leading agricultural and environmental organizations.

This bill will help farmers improve their operations, build new revenue streams, and implement climate-smart practices to safeguard our environment for the future.

TNC's Director of North American Policy and Government Relations

“We’re especially pleased that the bill recognizes the need to enable all farmers, including small and beginning farmers, historically underserved farmers, and socially disadvantaged farmers, to benefit from a market-based system for climate-smart agricultural practices. This thoughtful legislation gives a voice to these important stakeholders,” Onley said.

At scale, agriculture and land use practices can be an effective method for capturing and storing carbon dioxide, the most plentiful greenhouse gas. Several issues – including access to reliable information about markets and access to qualified technical assistance providers and credit verifiers – have limited both landowner participation and the adoption of climate-friendly practices.

“We are grateful to the sponsors for working across the aisle to support natural climate solutions and address the climate challenge,” Onley said. “This demonstrates the ongoing bipartisan support for natural climate solutions and broader efforts to address climate change. We look forward to working with the U.S. House of Representatives to send this legislation to the President’s desk.” 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.