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Kaine Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Provide Farmers and Foresters with Resources to Address Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine applauded Senate passage of bipartisan legislation that he cosponsored to help break down barriers for farmers and foresters to address the climate crisis. This legislation would reward climate-smart practices for those who want to participate in carbon markets, which aim to reduce greenhouse gases. The bill now awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“There’s no doubt that the climate crisis is already negatively impacting farmers’ work in Virginia,” said Senator Kaine. “Fortunately, farmers and foresters are already leading efforts to address climate change. This legislation will help provide the resources they need to implement their practices. It is fundamental to solving the climate crisis.” 

The Growing Climate Solutions Act will: 

  • Create a certification program at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowners from participating in carbon credit markets. These issues include access to reliable information to implement sustainable practices and access to qualified technical assistance providers and credit protocol verifiers.
    • This program will support USDA in helping connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist the landowners in implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices. 
  • Establish a Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program to help provide transparency, legitimacy, and informal endorsement of third-party verifiers and technical service providers that aid private landowners in generating carbon credits through a variety of practices. 
  • Provide the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture with a robust advisory council composed of agriculture experts, scientists, producers, and others.
  • Require USDA to produce a report to Congress advising on issues, such as barriers to entering the market, market performance, farmer’s challenges, and more. 

The Growing Climate Solutions Act has broad, bipartisan from more than 175 national farm organizations, food and agriculture companies, and environmental advocates.