Today, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie led a call with farmers, ranchers, foresters, and climate advocates to discuss the Department of Agriculture’s new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, which will invest $1 billion.

On the call, Advisor McCarthy tied the program back to President Biden’s January 2021 Executive Order on “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” in which the President emphasized that our farmers, ranchers, and foresters can help lead the fight against climate change by advancing practices that reduce greenhouse gases and collect and store carbon in soils, trees, and vegetation.  

Under Secretary Bonnie emphasized how the new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program builds on a year of USDA efforts to realize that vision. Through this $1 billion investment, USDA will fund pilots and demonstration projects that encourage farmers and foresters to deploy climate-smart production; implement innovative approaches to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits; and then connect those climate-smart commodities to markets that value them. 

Advisor McCarthy noted that this initiative will amass more information than has ever before been available regarding the climate benefits that the U.S.’s agricultural and forestry sectors can generate. She predicted that the program could be a “game changer” for the U.S., and for the many nations around the world with significant agricultural and forestry sectors. Both Under Secretary Bonnie and Advisor McCarthy also emphasized that the program will focus on equity and the Administration’s Justice40 commitment that substantial program benefits flow to smaller and underserved producers.  

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