Agriculture’s climate solutions are essential for reaching California’s climate goals.
California is a global trailblazer on climate policy with its ambitious climate change law. The CalCAN coalition has engaged as an advocate for sustainable and organic agriculture on all of the agricultural initiatives summarized below.
Climate Smart Agriculture Programs
The state of California has launched a suite of innovative Climate Smart Agriculture programs, funding them with proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade program. These programs—the first of their kind in the country—provide unique resources for farmers and ranchers to adopt transformative farm management practices. The programs include:
- Sustainable Agriculture Lands Conservation Program (SALCP) — Invests in farmland conservation for its climate benefits
- State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP) — Provides grants to growers for on-farm improvements that both reduce GHG emissions and save water
- Healthy Soils Program — Provides grants to growers to promote the stewardship of healthy soils as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon
- Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) — Provides grants to dairy and other livestock producers to implement manure handling and storage strategies that reduce methane emissions
Robust technical assistance is necessary to support farmers and ranchers in making a transition to climate-friendly farm management practices. All farmers benefit from technical assistance, but especially those farmers who cannot readily access consultants to support their efforts, including small and mid-sized producers, farmers of color, women and beginning farmers. CalCAN is a leading proponent of a sufficient and ongoing source of funding for technical assistance. Read more here.
Climate Change Adaptation
California is already experiencing greater weather extremes. Intense wildfires, erratic precipitation, sea level rise, loss in winter chill hours, increased and new pests, and more. CalCAN and our partners work to advance strategies to improve agricultural resiliency, keeping farmers on the land for generations to come. Read more here.
California’s Climate Mitigation Plans
California has the country’s most ambitious climate change laws, aimed at reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. California is also preparing for how our communities and industries, including agriculture, must adjust to a changed climate. Read more here.
Climate and Agriculture Bills
Over the last decade, CalCAN has sponsored and supported a host of bills to advance sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change. Stay tuned for a complete list.