Support the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act!

On April 4th, the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act (Senate Bill 237) will go up for a committee vote in the California State Senate.  SB 237 will assure that future revenue generated by the state’s climate change law designated to agriculture will be spent on climate-friendly sustainable agriculture practices. You can download a fact sheet on SB 237 or view the whole text.

Make your voice heard and support sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change.

Please call your State Senator today.

It’s easy to call:

Go to http://www.legislature.ca.gov/port-zipsearch.html and type in your zip code.  Call the Sacramento office number of your State Senator.  Ask to speak to the staff person who handles agriculture issues.

The message is simple. “I am a constituent of Senator___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support SB 237, the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act.  SB 237 will support California agriculture in addressing climate change. Agriculture is uniquely vulnerable to climate change.  Future funds from AB 32 should support sustainable agricultural responses to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.”

Report your call:

Please let us know you called.  Drop us a line to: jmerrill@calclimateag.org.

Background:

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.

At the same time, agriculture can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Research funded by the California Energy Commission suggests that some agricultural practices not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but may also sequester atmospheric carbon in the soil.

California is proceeding in implementing its climate change law, AB 32, which requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  Through implementation of the law, new funds will become available to support greenhouse gas emissions reductions and help the state adapt to climate change.

The Agriculture Climate Benefits Act, SB 237, authored by State Senator Lois Wolk, recognizes the need for agricultural solutions to climate change.  SB 237 defines the eligible uses of funds designated to California’s agriculture sector from implementation of the state’s climate change law, including:

1. Research and demonstration to examine the farming practices and systems that reduce GHG emissions, sequester atmospheric carbon and adapt to climate change.

2. Technical assistance for producers that communicates research findings into real opportunities for California agriculture to provide voluntary GHG reductions and adaptation activities.

3. Incentives for farmers and ranchers to overcome barriers to agricultural practices that mitigate and adapt to climate change while providing environmental and health co-benefits, including improved air and water quality, enhanced wildlife habitat and water conservation.

Funds will be administered with input from an Advisory Committee comprised of agricultural producers, researchers and non-profit organizations with expertise in agriculture and climate change issues.

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