Six major food companies, from General Mills to Danone, said at the UN climate summit that they will reduce their dairy methane emissions as part of a new alliance that includes a major U.S. environmental group. The Dairy Methane Action Alliance will require members to publicly disclose emissions within their dairy supply chains and implement a methane action plan.
More than two-thirds of the nations in the world, representing 5.7 billion people and 70 percent of global food production, signed a declaration at the UN climate summit assigning agriculture and food systems a role in combatting global warming. It was the first such linkage of food and climate action and while it was applauded, the praise was salted with "show me" skepticism.
Livestock accounted for slightly more than half of the 14 percent increase in global greenhouse gas emissions by agriculture from 2000 to 2021, said a Food and Agriculture Organization report on Wednesday. The carbon footprint of cattle and sheep was several times higher than the footprint for pigs, chickens, and dairy, when calculated per kilogram of product, said the FAO’s Statistical Yearbook, released on the eve of the UN climate summit.
The next UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, opens on Thursday in Dubai. This year, food systems issues will play a more central role in the negotiations than ever before, with a day of the conference devoted to food, for the first time. Food and agriculture account for roughly one-third of …
The current tug-of-war among lawmakers for farm bill funding "offers a case study" of the long-running tension between conservation and crop subsidies, said Jonathan Coppess, associate professor at the University of Illinois. This time, the issue is whether to shift up to $18 billion that was earmarked for climate mitigation (in the 2022 climate, healthcare, and tax law) into crop subsidies.
The U.S. Forest Service proposed a change in regulations on Monday that would allow it to consider requests to inject carbon dioxide beneath the 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. Carbon sequestration is a key element in President Biden's goal of net-zero U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.
Now an infant industry, carbon capture will play a significant role in achieving President Biden’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, said administration officials on Thursday. Senators from coal and gas states said the administration, after including incentives in the 2022 climate law, should unleash carbon capture projects.
Sixty-one House Republicans called on Speaker Mike Johnson for speedy passage of the new farm bill, despite a grim outlook for the legislation expressed by a leading analyst. Work on the farm bill is at an impasse among farm-state lawmakers over crop subsidy and climate funding, with conservatives itching for the chance during floor debate to constrain SNAP eligibility and outlays. (No paywall)
Row crop and specialty crop growers are eligible for more than $3 billion from the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to offset losses from natural disasters in 2022, said the USDA. Administrator Zach Ducheneaux of the Farm Services Agency said 2022 "was another year of weather-related challenges — for some, the third consecutive year or more in a row."
All 24 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee signed a letter telling panel leaders on Monday "it would ultimately be a disservice to American farmers" to hijack the $20 billion earmarked in the farm bill for climate-mitigation projects. Some lawmakers, with Republicans the most vocal, would use the money to fatten the crop subsidy system.
More than nine out of 10 farmers are aware of carbon markets but only a fraction of them are participants, said a USDA report on Monday that listed several barriers, including a "limited return on investment as a result of high transaction costs." Carbon contracts have been promoted as a way for farmers to be paid for locking carbon into the soil as part of their day-to-day operations.
To pay for farm bill priorities such as crop subsidies, House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson suggested $50 billion in cuts, mostly to climate change and public nutrition programs that are strongly supported by Democratic lawmakers. The proposal, quickly rejected, pointed to long-running disagreements over the farm bill with time running out for action this year.
Navigator CO2 said it canceled its 1,350-mile carbon pipeline because of "unpredictable ... regulatory and government processes" in the five Midwestern states the pipeline would cross. The Heartland Greenway pipeline was among three projects proposed to capture carbon dioxide, mainly from ethanol plants, and transport it through pipelines for injection thousands of feet underground.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he’s certain Congress will meet the Dec. 31 deadline to pass the farm bill or temporarily revive its predecessor, but it will require a dose of creativity to do it. Lawmakers have been deadlocked for weeks over farm group demands for a larger safety net when there are few ways to pay for it.
The MacArthur Foundation awarded “genius” grants this year to A. Park Williams, a hydroclimatologist who is developing a wildfire forecasting model after studying climate change and tree mortality, and Lucy Hutyra, an environmental ecologist whose studies show that conserving urban forest fragments helps mitigate local impacts of climate change.
The world may be near the breaking point as global warming inflicts drought, intense storms, and heat waves on more and more people, said Pope Francis on Wednesday, calling for a worldwide commitment to reining in human-caused damage to the environment.
More than $3 billion in USDA cost-sharing funds will be available to producers and foresters for climate mitigation projects in the fiscal year that begins this Sunday, the Agriculture Department said on Thursday.
The White House announced the creation Wednesday of the American Climate Corps to train 20,000 young adults for work in clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience. At the same time, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the Forest Corps, operating through the U.S. Forest Service, would be the first major interagency partnership with the Climate Corps.