New alliance releases its priorities for climate

National Farmers Union
Farm Forum

This past week, an alliance of groups representing farmers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments, and environmental advocates unveiled a set of recommendations for federal climate policy.

The coalition, known as the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, has been in the works for more than nine months. During that time, its members worked together to develop more than 40 recommendations based on three principles: agricultural and forestry climate policies must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities; they must promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities; and they must be science-based.

National Farmers Union is one of the co-chairs of the alliance, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. The alliance also includes The Food Industry Association, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and The Nature Conservancy.

More can be learned about the alliance at

FACA’s policy recommendations cover six areas of focus: soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, research, and food loss and waste.

These recommendations include:

  • Provide voluntary, incentive-based tools for farmers, ranchers and forest owners to maximize the sequestration of carbon and the reduction of other greenhouse gas emissions as well as increase the resilience of the land.
  • Support the development of and overseeing private sector markets for GHG credits.
  • Promote public and private sector tools to incentivize farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to prioritize and scale climate-smart practices.
  • Offer incentives for farmers to reduce energy consumption, increase use of on-farm renewable energy, and make continued progress toward reducing the lifecycle GHG emissions of agriculture- and forestry-based renewable energy.
  • Streamline consumer-facing packaging and implementing a public-private partnership to reduce the GHG impact of food waste and loss within the food value chain.
  • Increase federal investment in agriculture, forestry, and food-related research substantially and continuously.