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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack highlighted the department's initiatives and investments in climate-friendly agricultural practices and forestry at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).
Vilsack also noted the capability farmers and producers worldwide have to increase their productivity while bolstering their climate resilience and minimizing climate impacts, something he considered crucial for maintaining global food security, according to a Nov. 12 news release.
“As we face down the dual crises of climate change and food insecurity, USDA recognizes that changes to our agriculture and food systems can only happen at the needed scale and speed if farmers are at the center of our solutions,” Vilsack said in the news release. “Under the Biden-Harris administration, the United States is making unprecedented investments in innovative approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation."
Vilsack also used his platform to highlight the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, which the USDA is using to invest in new revenue streams for U.S. climate-friendly farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, the release reported.
"USDA is proud to play a pivotal role through our new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, once-in-a-generation investments through the Inflation Reduction Act, and other initiatives that position American agriculture as a leader in delivering climate solutions through voluntary, incentive-based, market-driven, and collaborative approaches," Vilsack said in the release. "It was an honor to highlight at COP27 the administration’s leadership role, and that of American agriculture, in tackling the climate crisis.”
The initiatives are expected to increase the number of markets for climate-friendly products, take advantage of reduced greenhouse gas emissions from climate-friendly production and directly benefit agriculture and agricultural workers, including small and disenfranchised producers, according to the release.
“Small and underserved producers are at the frontlines of the worst impacts of climate change around the world," Vilsack said in the release. "At the same time, there is enormous and growing market demand for agricultural goods that are produced in a sustainable, climate-smart way. Our goal is to expand markets for climate-smart commodities and make sure that small and underserved producers reap the benefits of these market opportunities.”