Greetings from Scotland!
That is Vanessa Garcia Polanco, Federal Coverage Director at Younger Farmers. I’m at the moment attending COP26, or the Convention of the Events, in Glasgow. Since 1992, all international locations have met beneath the United Nations’ Framework Conference on Local weather Change (UNFCCC) to answer the local weather disaster. This 12 months is the twenty sixth iteration, postponed a 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s being hosted by the UK in Glasgow. As COP26 begins, I need to present a recap of the work we’re doing as a coalition to advance and advocate for local weather coverage that equips younger and BIPOC farmers with the sources they should construct local weather resilience.
In 2019, we issued our local weather assertion, asserting that we want local weather coverage that acknowledges the distinctive local weather management functionality of our younger farmers. In 2020, farmers such as you voted decidedly to make local weather motion our high federal coverage precedence in our first farmer-driven, equity-centered federal policy-setting course of. This 12 months, pushed by local weather crises on our farms throughout the nation, we have now been exhausting at work on local weather coverage,, endorsing a number of local weather motion insurance policies just like the Agriculture Resilience Act and applauding the Biden Harris Administration’s prioritization of racial fairness and local weather motion. In April, we submitted feedback to the USDA calling for the legislative and administrative actions wanted to offer sources to the younger and BIPOC farmers who’re and can fight local weather change and construct resiliency on their farms throughout the nation.
Now we have heard from our farmers from throughout the nation about how their chapters are organizing to leverage sources for local weather motion, in addition to in regards to the psychological results of local weather anxiousness and the very tangible impacts of local weather chaos. We’ve additionally heard in regards to the hope younger farmers have that their priorities and imaginative and prescient of local weather motion will quickly change into a actuality. Not too long ago, the USDA launched its Motion Plan For Local weather Adaptation And Resilience. We commend this crucial step that units the tone for extra proactive investments in local weather motion on the division, however administrative targets can’t be met with out extra funding from Congress.
Final week, Congress shared language from the proposed finances reconciliation invoice that features a few of the Construct Again Higher priorities that the Biden-Harris administration has been championing. If handed, this package deal would offer groundbreaking investments to assist farmers and ranchers improve their conservation practices and play a central function in our nationwide response to the local weather disaster. That issues if we should act regionally, suppose globally, and stand in world solidarity for local weather motion for farmers across the globe.
These annual COP conferences have delivered triumphs for local weather motion previously, akin to the Paris settlement in 2015:
Beneath the landmark Paris settlement signed in 2015, nations dedicated to holding world temperature rises to “properly under” 2C above pre-industrial ranges, whereas “pursuing efforts” to restrict heating to 1.5C. These targets are legally binding and enshrined within the treaty.
Nonetheless, to satisfy these targets, international locations additionally agreed on non-binding nationwide targets to chop – or within the case of growing international locations, to curb the expansion of – greenhouse fuel emissions within the close to time period, by 2030 generally.
These nationwide targets – referred to as nationally decided contributions, or NDCs – had been insufficient to carry the world inside the Paris temperature targets. If fulfilled, they’d lead to 3C or extra of warming, which might be disastrous.
Everybody knew at Paris that the NDCs had been insufficient, so the French constructed into the accord a “ratchet mechanism” by which international locations must return to the desk each 5 years with contemporary commitments. These 5 years had been up on 31 December 2020, however the pandemic prevented many international locations from coming collectively. (The Guardian)
Now, beneath Biden-Harris management, the US has a possibility to decide to even bolder NDCs for local weather motion, setting the tone to catalyze investments from different international locations.
This week we have now the chance to speculate boldly at house, so we’re urging Congress to go a historic Funds Reconciliation Package deal that may permit us to Construct Again Higher, appearing regionally to take local weather motion whereas being in solidarity and management with younger farmers around the globe.