Agriculture Climate Benefits Act passes off Senate Floor with bipartisan support
SB 367 recognizes the need for agricultural solutions to climate change
June 3, 2015
A measure by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), one of eleven bills that make up the Senate’s California Climate Leadership package secured passage from the Senate today on a bipartisan 33-2 vote. SB 367 ensures that California’s farmers have maximum opportunities to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by developing projects and on-farm practices that would also provide environmental and health benefits.
“California agriculture plays an important role addressing climate change,” said Senator Lois Wolk. “Today, we took a significant step forward in supporting the state’s farmers and ranchers in coping with a changing climate.”
In a state where water is already scarce, climate change scenarios predict that water supplies will become increasingly constrained. Warming temperatures also threaten to shift the kinds of crops that can be grown in the state. Statewide, the impact of climate change on California agriculture could hamper food and fiber production in the decades to come.
“California farmers can make a big contribution to the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” said Dave Runsten, Policy Director for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. “SB 367 will help farmers adopt a range of climate-friendly farming practices that benefit consumers, the environment, and agriculture.”
Research funded by the California Energy Commission suggests that some agricultural practices not only reduce GHG emissions, but may also sequester atmospheric carbon in the soil.
As California implements, AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, new funds will become available to support GHG emissions reductions and help the state adapt to climate change.
“Farmers can provide climate benefits by storing carbon in soil, producing renewable energy, conserving water, and more,” said Renata Brillinger, Executive Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network. “Thanks to Senator Wolk’s leadership, SB 367 will unleash the potential of California’s farmers and ranchers to contribute solutions to the climate crisis.”
SB 367 is sponsored by the California Climate and Agriculture Network and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. It is supported by the American Farmland Trust, Audubon California, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Sustainable Conservation, the Trust for Public Land and the California League of Conservation Voters.
SB 367 will be heard next in the Assembly.
Click here for more information and to find out how to show your support for this important bill.