Indiana Senator Mike Braun joined a bipartisan group of senators, including Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to introduce the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bill which would break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices. The bill has the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, Environmental Defense Fund, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and over 40 farm groups, environmental organizations, and Fortune 500 companies.
“As a Main Street Entrepreneur and conservationist, I know firsthand that if we want to address our changing climate then we need to facilitate real solutions that our farmers, environmentalists and industry can all support, which this bill accomplishes,” Braun said in a statement. In the same statement, Graham noted: “As Americans we have the ability to come up with climate solutions that can benefit our economy and our way of life. The United States has long been a leader in innovation. This legislation is an opportunity to put our knowledge and can-do spirit to work to promote business opportunities for the agriculture industry while promoting the protection of our environment.”
The program would improve transparency and make it easier for farmers and other landowners to participate in carbon markets. Third-party entities would be able to become “USDA certified” as technical service providers or verifiers, a move aimed at creating more legitimacy and consistency as more carbon sequestration initiatives crop up.