FACA Recommends USDA Carbon Bank Pilot Projects (Ind. Report)
Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance
The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) has developed the following specific recommendations for how the U.S. USDA should approach a potential carbon bank -- a voluntary policy mechanism to help reduce barriers that producers and landowners face to participating in voluntary carbon markets and adopting climate-smart practices.
FACA recommends that USDA lay the foundation for a potential carbon bank by first developing a series of pilot projects aimed at:
Scaling climate solutions -- Pilot projects should help increase adoption of climate-smart practices that reduce, directly capture or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, and/or increase climate resilience. Pilots should deploy "critical climate infrastructure" to increase the capacity of farmers, ranchers and forest owners to adapt to climate change, while ensuring food and economic security.
Removing barriers to adoption -- Pilot projects should encourage the widespread adoption of climate-smart practices and critical climate infrastructure by removing barriers and making it easier for producers and landowners to adopt these practices.
Improving carbon accounting standards -- USDA should develop consistent and credible criteria to account for the carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reduction benefits of climate-smart agriculture and forestry projects and practices.
Ensuring equitable opportunities -- Pilot projects must be developed with and provide equitable opportunities for minority, socially disadvantaged and small-scale producers.
Information gained from the pilots will serve two critical purposes -- First, it will help USDA build a durable foundation for a carbon bank that gains long-term bipartisan congressional support. Second, it will help USDA build confidence in how to verify the climate benefits delivered by specific practices and management approaches.
According to the FACA, this approach will lay essential building blocks for a voluntary carbon bank that creates opportunities for all producers and landowners to participate in rapidly developing voluntary private markets and leverages private investment in agricultural and forestry climate solutions. As USDA develops a carbon bank, it must protect all existing funding for farm bill conservation and insurance programs, and it must ensure that a USDA-led carbon bank doesn't undermine voluntary private markets.
The FACA consists of 70 member organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, agribusinesses, manufacturers, the food and innovation sector, state governments, sportsmen, and environmental advocates. These groups have broken through historical barriers to develop and promote shared climate policy priorities across the entire agriculture, food and forestry value chains, according to its website.
(Source: FACA, Website PR, 3 Apr., 2021) Contact: FACA, www.agclimatealliance.com
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Bay State Governor Inks Climate Legislation (Reg. & Leg.)
Mass. Climate Change
Following up on our Jan. 6th coverage, Bay State Gov. Charlie Baker (D) has signed into law climate legislation committing Massachusetts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, establish interim emissions goals between now and the middle of the century, adopt energy efficiency standards for appliances, authorize another 2,400 MW of offshore wind power and address needs in environmental justice communities.
The new law requires that greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 be at least 50 pct lower than 1990 emissions, and that 2040 emissions be at least 75 pct lower and that 2050 emissions be at least 85 pct below 1990 emissions. The remaining 15 pct will be achieved through carbon sequestration and carbon banking.
The bill also requires the Department of Public Utilities to consider emissions reductions on an equal footing as its considerations of power generation reliability and affordability within 90 days, that the governor appoint three green building experts to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards, and that the administration establish the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for the home energy efficiency program MassSave. (Source: Various Media, Sentinal Herald, 27 Mar., 2021)Contact: Office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, (617) 725-4005, www.mass.gov/governor
More Low-Carbon Energy News Charlie Baker, Climate Change, MassSave,
National Carbon Bank, Green Energy Trading Merge (M&A, Int'l.)
National Carbon Bank of Australia
In the Land Down Under, Hawthorne, Victoria-headquartered environmental certificate agents Green Energy Trading and Brookvale NSW-based National Carbon Bank of Australia have announced their merger and will now work together to unlock the value offered by various incentive schemes for the installation of renewable energy-solar power and energy efficiency projects.
National Carbon Bank of Australia helps businesses and residences take advantage of savings that are available from government state-based schemes and financial incentives to reduce the consumption of electricity through energy savings. (Source: National Carbon Bank of Australia, The Fifth Estate, 24 July, 2019) Contact: National Carbon Bank of Australia, +61 2 9939 5559, www.nationalcarbonbank.com.au; Green Energy Trading, +61 3 9805 0700, www.greenenergytrading.com.au
More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Energy Trading,
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