With recent storms, flooded homes and the threat of hurricanes occurring on a regular basis — plus unprecedented wildfires in California and Oregon — extreme weather events are in the news on a regular basis. While loss of property is a huge consequence, the impact of extreme weather events on our food supply is not that well-known. Spring 2019 floods in the Midwest devastated farmers and affected food prices and food supply.

Traditional agricultural practices exacerbate climate change by emitting greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The U.S. EPA calculated that 9.9 percent of 2018 greenhouse gas emissions was from agriculture. Sustainable, regenerative agriculture, on the other hand, rebuilds soil organic matter and restores soil biodiversity so that greenhouse gases are withdrawn from the atmosphere and stored in the soil. Regenerative agriculture, unlike traditional agriculture, can be part of the solution to climate change.

Bipartisan legislation, the Growing Climate Solutions Act (H.R. 7393, S. 3894), sponsored by Virginia’s own U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.-7th), supporting sustainable, regenerative agriculture, is moving forward in Congress. In addition to ensuring that agriculture is part of the solution to climate change, it will also generate revenue from carbon markets and incentivize farmers to adopt nature-based greenhouse gas reduction practices. Specifically, the bill instructs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create clear standards for carbon credit markets. In addition, it also will provide technical expertise to help farmers access the lucrative carbon credit markets to get paid for the emissions they reduce and the carbon they sequester.

Passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act will help protect food security while also ensuring farms can thrive for years to come. Contact your member of Congress to support Abigail Spanberger’s Growing Climate Solutions Act.

Natalie Pien

Leesburg

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