Axne helps reintroduce bill to expand carbon markets access for producers

Rep. Cindy Axne, D-IA, helped reintroduce bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House aimed at breaking down barriers for farmers and producers interested in participating in carbon markets and rewarding climate-smart practices used in Iowa agriculture and land use.

Limited access to reliable information about carbon markets and qualification red tape have restricted both landowner participation in carbon markets and the adoption of practices that help reduce the costs of developing carbon credits.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021, which was introduced April 22 with Rep. Axne as an original cosponsor, creates a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets. Through the program, USDA would help connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist the landowners in implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their conservation practices.

The legislation would also increase access to information by creating new digital resources for producers and farmers to learn more about accessing these markets, which would in turn increase knowledge and utilization of carbon-conscious practices–leading to fewer emissions, improved soil health, and more sustainable farm operations.

The bill was led by Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Don Bacon of Nebraska. It has the endorsement of the American Farm Bureau Federation, The Nature Conservancy, National Farmers Union, World Wildlife Federation, American Soybean Association, Environmental Defense Fund, Corn Refiners Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, US Cattlemen’s Association, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and Sustainable Food Policy Alliance.

Earlier today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry advanced the Growing Climate Solutions Act by a unanimous vote.

Axne was also a cosponsor of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in the 116th Congress.