By Kayla Bergman, policy associate, Center for Rural Affairs
A bipartisan committee in the U.S. House of Representatives recently released a comprehensive plan outlining the policy steps needed to address climate change.
The report, “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America,” lays out detailed, actionable climate solutions legislation that the committee believes Congress should enact.
Rural America has seen the effects of climate change, with increased extreme weather events and the 2019 devastating flooding in Iowa and Nebraska still fresh on many minds. This report outlines the intersection of climate and rural areas — with rural America being a crucial part of the solution.
Investments in agriculture for climate solutions is a key part of the rural focus in the report. Among the recommended steps outlined by the committee are: boosting funding for farmers implementing conservation practices that sequester carbon, more support for on-farm renewable energy, and increase support for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers to incorporate climate-smart agriculture into those programs.
Sydney Westphal, a Center for Rural Affairs supporter, was one of many who weighed in on the plan last fall and this spring. She outlined many actions that Congress could take to support rural America in its efforts to address climate change.
“In order to outreach and deliver technical assistance to the farmers and ranchers interested in conservation practices to lower carbon emissions, USDA NRCS offices need to be fully staffed in soil and technical staff,” she said.
The full report can be found at climatecrisis.house.gov.
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.