While climate change poses enormous challenges for America’s agriculture and forestry sectors, it can also create opportunities, a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) says.
BPC’s Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Task Force put together the report, which recommends policy solutions in several areas:
- “Increase investment in natural climate solutions through existing Farm Bill programs and offer pathways to new market opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.
- “Expand technical assistance for implementing natural climate solutions and address related workforce needs.
- “Strengthen the integrity of voluntary carbon markets and increase access to these markets.
- “Develop new public and private financial and insurance instruments that address barriers to the broad adoption of natural climate solutions.
- “Enhance resilience to wildfire, drought, insects and disease, and invasive species on a landscape scale.
- “Foster technology innovation in the agriculture and forestry sectors to make natural carbon solutions cheaper and easier to implement and to address measurement and monitoring challenges.”
BIO calls for policies boosting biotech
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) advocates these and other policy approaches that encourage biotech solutions to help farmers and foresters address the climate. “To meet climate change commitments, it is crucial to lead with science and U.S. innovation,” BIO says in a statement submitted for a recent House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing.
BIO advocates, policies to incentivize the adoption of innovative and sustainable technologies and practices that streamline and expedite regulatory pathways for breakthrough technology solutions.
Legislation BIO supports in this area includes the Growing Climate Solutions Act (S. 3894), which would create a voluntary, producer-led carbon capture certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provide farmers with technical resources to participate in carbon markets.
BIO says this legislation would make it easier for farmers to take advantage of biotech developments that can help address climate change, including:
- sustainable biofuels, which are lower in carbon than fossil fuels;
- farming techniques that enable carbon capture;
- gene editing, which can make our food resistant to pests, disease, and weather.
Furthermore, breakthroughs in animal biotechnology, such as disease resistance, can bolster a One Health approach and help countries and nations better prepare for future infectious disease outbreaks, which is one of six priorities outlined in BIO’s “100 Days of Innovation” Blueprint, published in January last year.