SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT, Nov. 12, 2022 – At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) this week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack highlighted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initiatives and investments in climate-smart agriculture and forestry, noting that global food security depends upon the ability of farmers and producers worldwide to increase their productivity while strengthening their climate resilience and minimizing their climate impacts.
“As we face down the dual crises of climate change and food insecurity, USDA recognizes that changes to our agriculture and food systems can only happen at the needed scale and speed if farmers are at the center of our solutions,” Vilsack said. “Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the United States is making unprecedented investments in innovative approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation. USDA is proud to play a pivotal role through our new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, once-in-a-generation investments through the Inflation Reduction Act, and other initiatives that position American agriculture as a leader in delivering climate solutions through voluntary, incentive-based, market-driven and collaborative approaches. It was an honor to highlight at COP27 the Administration’s leadership role, and that of American agriculture, in tackling the climate crisis.”
Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities
Vilsack used the international platform of COP27 to showcase the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, through which USDA is investing in new revenue streams for America’s climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. These projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart production and provide direct, meaningful benefits to agriculture, including for small and underserved producers.
At numerous COP27 events, Vilsack highlighted USDA’s initial $2.8 billion investment in 70 pilot projects from the first funding pool that will deliver significant benefits for producers and communities in all 50 U.S. states. The projects will result in the application of climate-smart production practices on more than 25 million acres of working land, with expanded market opportunities and revenue streams for producers of all sizes and types. All of these projects require meaningful involvement by underserved producers.
Today, Vilsack announced that USDA will direct an additional $300 million to the second pool of pilot projects by the end of the year, bringing USDA’s total expected investment to $3.1 billion. More than 65 additional projects will focus on enrolling small and underserved producers, as well as on methods to be developed at minority-serving institutions for monitoring, reporting and verifying the benefits of climate-smart agricultural practices.
“Small and underserved producers are at the frontlines of the worst impacts of climate change around the world. At the same time, there is enormous and growing market demand for agricultural goods that are produced in a sustainable, climate-smart way. Our goal is to expand markets for climate-smart commodities and make sure …….