Learn how to reduce global warming growing one crop at a time.
Farms and forestlands play a major role in reducing the threat of global warming, according to recent reports by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Washington, D.C.
The reports, Agriculture's Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Agricultural and Forestlands: U.S. Carbon Policy Strategies, spotlight how agricultural endeavors both produce more gas emissions and provide means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The reports emphasize the necessity of supporting current production and programs to reduce global warming, as well as creating new ones, as a means of solving climate woes.
"Climate change is the major environmental challenge of our time," says Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center. "In order to address it in the most cost-effective way, we must take advantage of the full range of solutions — and that means rethinking how we manage our forests and farmlands."
Changing agricultural practices and foresting lands would offset up to one-fifth of the current gas emissions in the United States, helping alleviate the greenhouse effect. These efforts would also create new sources of farm income. The reports also recommend replacing fossil fuels with biofuels, thus reducing the country's gas emissions by another 10 percent to 25 percent.
In Agriculture's Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation, the authors suggest payment to help farmers adopt new practices and reduce agricultural emissions. They also say incentives are needed to reduce the cost of biofuels.
In Agricultural and Forestlands: U.S. Carbon Policy Strategies, policy approaches are suggested for placing agricultural lands and forestlands in major roles in a national effort to mitigate climate changes, including changing practices on public land, land-use regulations for privately owned forests, and incentives to promote environmentally friendly practices on all types of agricultural lands.
"We have always known that America's farms and forests could play an important part in reducing the risks of climate change," Claussen says. "But these sectors aren't going to do this on their own — policy makers need to create the framework for these solutions through vigorous incentives and other policies."
For more information, visit the center's website at www.PewClimate.org.