Poll: Ethanol is more popular than crude oil
More than half of Americans have a favorable view of ethanol as a fuel source, compared to 45 percent for crude oil, according to a poll commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association. The trade group said the results "demonstrate that Americans strongly support expanded use of lower-cost, lower-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol."
Study: Southeast’s peat bogs have carbon storage superpowers
Rewetting drained coastal evergreen shrub bogs in the Southeast that were once used for farming could make a small but significant contribution to reducing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, according to a recent study. The bogs, known as pocosins, can absorb and hold extraordinary amounts of CO2 because they contain antimicrobial compounds called phenolics that prevent the waterlogged peat from decaying rapidly, even during times of drought.
Are Iowa’s proposed CO2 pipelines a legitimate climate mitigation tool?
Iowa environmentalists say the plan to build three pipelines to move liquified carbon dioxide — collected from the smokestacks of ethanol refineries — to North Dakota and Illinois, where the carbon would be pumped underground, will simply prop up the fossil fuel industry and shower their agribusiness investors with tax credits.
Climate ruling could ripple into food and ag regulations
The U.S. Supreme Court limited the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants on Thursday. The ruling could have broad impact with its reasoning that Congress must give an agency specific authority to act on particular issues.
Agriculture emerges from COP26 with focus on methane and innovation
The USDA would work with farmers to reduce agricultural emissions of methane, said the White House in describing the domestic impact of the UN climate summit in Scotland. The United States also is a leader in the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate, designed to accelerate breakthroughs in climate-smart farm production.
Report: Governments must ‘drastically improve’ efforts to reduce emissions in food, land-use systems
As the first week of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) winds down, a new analysis of emissions-reduction pledges finds that those countries that have contributed the most to climate change have committed to do far too little to reduce emissions from the food system and leverage the carbon sequestration potential of landscapes. (No paywall)
Report: Fertilizer responsible for more than 20 percent of total agricultural emissions
As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) gets underway in Glasgow, a new report finds that synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought, outpacing even the commercial aviation industry. The report, from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Greenpeace and GRAIN, urges a swift transition toward more sustainable food production in order to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change.(No paywall)
Can rock dust be a climate solution for agriculture?
Agriculture generates nearly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which has spurred scientists to seek ways of reducing farming's contributions to climate change. Now researchers have found that dusting crop fields with pulverized rock such as basalt can supercharge the natural chemical process that sequesters carbon in the soil, according to FERN’s latest story, published with Yale Environment 360. (No paywall)
Advocates: Agriculture needs $200 billion increase for climate mitigation
Congress should provide $200 billion in new funding over a decade to reach the goal of "negative emission farming," said 450 conservation, consumer, farm and environmental groups in a letter on Tuesday. The increase would be the equivalent of all the funding in the 2018 farm bill for crop subsidies, land stewardship, crop insurance, research and rural development.
A plan to make Denmark’s food system carbon neutral by 2050
Two years ago, Denmark’s farming sector announced a bold goal: Its food industry would become carbon neutral by 2050 and serve as a model for the rest of the world. This week, a new report commissioned by a Danish agriculture industry trade group lays out a strategy for how the country can reduce emissions while producing significantly more food. No paywall
Agriculture must be part of climate change negotiations, says Farm Bureau
Although blamed for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture has a "great track record" through land stewardship and biofuels in mitigating climate change, says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in looking ahead to the Biden administration. "We must make sure we are at the table for discussions around climate change." (No paywall)
Ag must make big changes to reach climate goals, says report
Progress toward limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius — the goal of the Paris Agreement — is “highly insufficient,” “off-track,” “too slow,” and “inadequate” across almost every key sector: power, buildings, industry, transport, agriculture, and forests, the World Resources Institute and the ClimateWorks Foundation said Wednesday in their State of Climate Action report. (No paywall)
Alliance including farm groups seeks tax credits to fight climate change
The government would create a range of tax credits to encourage carbon sequestration in the soil and forests, deploy “digesters” nationwide to convert manure into energy, and work more aggressively to reduce food waste if it follows the recommendations of farm, conservation and food retail …
Harvesting American forests for the EU’s ‘green’ electricity plants
Wood-processing plants around the South are turning trees into pellets and then exporting them to be burned in electricity plants in the EU. It's part of the EU's initiative to generate "green" electricity, but scientists question whether burning trees is really carbon neutral, according to FERN's latest story with The Weather Channel.(No paywall)
Trump nominates climate-change denier as top White House environmental adviser
President Trump has nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a current senior policy adviser at the free-market think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation, to serve as the White House’s senior environmental policy adviser. Hartnett has argued that calling carbon dioxide a pollutant is “absurd,” and that C02 should instead be considered the gas of life.
California leads country with new climate-change legislation
California Gov. Jerry Brown has extended the state’s climate plan for another decade by signing into law a bundle of bills meant to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. “The legislation puts California at the forefront of plans by mostly Democratic governors to reduce carbon emissions and adhere to the goals of the Paris climate change accord after Republican President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact,” says Reuters.
Pruitt blasts Paris climate treaty as a ‘bad deal’
The Paris climate treaty is a “bad deal” for the U.S. said Scott Pruitt, while adding that the country should stay “engaged" in international climate discussions.
Three-fourths of Americans want CO2 emissions regulated
About 70 percent of Americans want government regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, yet government officials are poised to roll back coal restrictions, says The New York Times, laying out public opinion on climate change in a series of maps.
Trump ready to nix carbon-cost calculation in new regulations
President Trump will soon cancel the Obama-era policy that demanded federal agencies account for the “social cost of carbon” when drafting new regulations, says Reuters. Under Obama, agency officials had to quantify the economic damage of an activity, like coal mining or oil drilling, based on its contribution to climate change.