Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Results, Additional $72.3 Million Soil Health Investment to Support Paris Agreement
WASHINGTON–Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack shared the first results of USDA's Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry, one year after he unveiled the plan at Michigan State University. In addition to providing specific goals and results of the many actions that USDA is taking to help farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners respond to and help mitigate climate change, Vilsack announced a new $72.3 million investment to boost carbon storage in healthy soils during a speech on climate at the Center for America Progress in Washington, DC.
"American farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners are global leaders in conserving rural America's natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Vilsack. "With today's announcements, USDA is providing the necessary tools and resources called for under the President's Climate Action Plan so producers and landowners can successfully create economic opportunity and provide the food, fiber and energy needs of a growing global population."
On April 23, 2015, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced USDA's 10 Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture, a comprehensive set of voluntary programs and initiatives that is expected to reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by over 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent by 2025 - about two percent of economy-wide emissions. The ten "building blocks" span a range of technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage, and generate clean renewable energy. USDA also supports global food security through in-country capacity building, basic and applied research, and support for improved market information, statistics and analysis.
Today's " USDA Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Implementation Plan and Progress Report" catalogues the progress made over the past year and provides new details on the Department's framework for helping farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners respond to climate change.