Climate change is creating widespread disruptions in our food and farming system. Farmers and ranchers face unprecedented challenges with increasingly scarce water, extreme heat, flooding and wildfire events, and unpredictable weather and pest patterns. Experienced and new farmers alike are struggling to stay in business, and farmworkers are on the front lines, exposed to unhealthy air and facing the reality of working on more dangerously hot days. Re-envisioning how we grow food must be one of our highest and most urgent priorities.
Today, CalCAN released the first in a two-part report, A Climate Platform for California Agriculture, which serves as a call to action for moving rapidly toward a more climate resilient agriculture system. State of the State: Taking stock of a decade of climate progress in California agriculture summarizes the progress made by the state and federal government over the past decade to support California farmers and farmworkers in their efforts to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
“California has led the nation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, and our policies and programs have laid the foundation for a more rapid scaling up of the powerful climate solutions that our farms and ranches have to offer,” says Renata Brillinger, Executive Director at CalCAN.
State of the State highlights the gains made in making resources and funding available for research, technical assistance, and incentives needed to catalyze a transformation of our farming system to greater climate resilience.
Although progress has been made, the work is far from complete. The second half of A Climate Platform for California Agriculture, titled Tools for Transformation: Cultivating climate resilience in 2030 and beyond, includes 50 policy recommendations to help improve agricultural climate resilience for 2030 and beyond. The recommendations are farm-focused, scientifically valid and economically and technically feasible for producers to implement. CalCAN supports approaches that deliver not only climate solutions but also multiple on-farm, environmental and public health benefits. Tools for Transformation will be released the week of October 23.
“More needs to be done to help meet the state’s 2030 climate and biodiversity goals. California’s transition to a climate-resilient agriculture system is not keeping up with the pace of climate change, leaving those who labor and depend on California’s agricultural regions to grapple with its devastating impacts,” said Brillinger. “The sooner we make investments in climate-resilient agriculture solutions, the more powerful their impact will be.”
CalCAN invites policymakers, journalists and stakeholders to engage in this evolving dialogue to help build a more climate-resilient agriculture system throughout California. This report is a call to action to work together towards a climate-resilient future.
A website dedicated to this report can be accessed at CaAgricultureClimatePlatform.Org. The website will be frequently updated to include additional information including the second report release, downloadable content and registration information for topic webinars.