The bill builds on the Iowa senator’s efforts to recognize the agriculture community’s commitment to conservation and responsible land stewardship.
Jun 24 2021
WASHINGTON—A bipartisan bill supported by U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)—a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee—to help cut red tape for farmers and forest landowners interested in entering carbon credit markets passed the Senate today.
“Iowa’s hardworking farmers continue to lead the way on conservation, and this bipartisan effort that passed the Senate today will reduce barriers for Iowa farmers looking to enter carbon credit markets and adopt climate-smart conservation practices,” said Senator Ernst.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act would create a certification program at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers to farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets, including access to reliable information about markets, qualified technical service providers, and protocol verifiers. The bill would also:
- Establish the Greenhouse Gas Technical Service Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program, allowing USDA to provide transparency, legitimacy, and informal endorsement of third party verifiers.
- Guide USDA to publish protocols and standards for existing carbon credit markets widely used across agriculture and forestry and help connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist them with implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices.
- Instruct USDA to produce a report to Congress to advise about the further development of this policy area, including but not limited to, barriers to market entry, challenges raised by farmers and forest landowners, and market performance.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.