Meat & Livestock News

Report Highlights Potential of Climate-Smart Policies in Reducing Emissions from Forests and Farms

A recent report underscores the vital role of America’s farms and forests in achieving the country’s climate objectives. Managing co-chair of America Is All In, Gina McCarthy emphasises the importance of innovative policies and substantial investments in conservation, ecosystem restoration, and climate-smart agriculture. These initiatives are key to empowering farmers, foresters, and ranchers in their efforts to feed the world while also absorbing carbon pollution, thus cleaning the air and mitigating extreme weather risks.

Shannon Kennedy, senior manager of strategic engagement at CGS and the report’s lead author, stresses the urgency of using every available method to reduce emissions and meet climate targets. This includes expanding the carbon sink within this decade.

The report provides a first-of-its-kind analysis on how current land use policies can be maximised and expanded to accelerate emission reductions from the agriculture and forestry sectors. It highlights the need for reforestation, conservation, wildfire mitigation, and sustainable farming practices. These measures are crucial not only for maintaining the natural carbon sink’s balance but also for promoting economic and societal advancement.

The report indicates that the U.S. can significantly enhance its carbon sink primarily through the growth and expansion of forests and ecosystems. However, this must be accompanied by new actions to protect these crucial eco-infrastructures and increase climate-smart agricultural investments. Without such measures, climate-induced droughts and fires could severely degrade this valuable sink by the 2030s, jeopardising climate stabilisation goals.

Significant opportunities for increasing carbon sequestration exist in the Southern and Midwestern states, according to the report.

America Is All In, describing itself as the most expensive coalition supporting climate action in the U.S., mobilises a wide array of leaders and institutions. The coalition aims to develop an ambitious national climate strategy, scale climate action across the country, and promote non-federal actors’ leadership globally. Its leaders include notable figures such as Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, and Apple Vice President Lisa Jackson, a former EPA administrator.