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Issue Position: Harder Secures Agriculture Support in Climate Committee Plan

Press Release

Date: June 30, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Today the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled its Action Plan for Solving the Climate Crisis -- and listed nearly all of the provisions which Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) fought to include. Last year, as the Committee was developing its proposals, Rep. Harder asked the Committee to include a series of policy proposals to support farmers' efforts in combating a changing climate. The plan is the culmination of the Committee's yearlong effort -- along with input from Rep. Harder, agricultural stakeholders, and various others -- to write a road map for Congressional action to stop climate change. Rep. Harder will soon introduce a bill aimed at supporting agriculture industry efforts to combat climate change.

"When most people in Washington talk about climate change they're quick to treat farmers as part of the problem rather than part of the solution -- that has to change," said Rep. Harder. "I want to reorient the way we talk about and think about farmers and climate change -- that's why I worked to make sure our climate plan includes opportunities to help farmers become part of the solution to this problem. They worry about it too -- longer droughts and fire seasons, changes to frost patterns -- these are all climate concerns that hurt farmers more than most. It's time we include them in these discussions and account for their needs."

An original copy of Rep. Harder's letter detailing his requests to the committee is available here. Each of his recommendations fit under the broader categories of investing in climate resilient technologies for farmers, incentivizing research and development for the agriculture sector, and supporting conservation practices to benefit farmers and the environment.

Provisions laid out in the Climate Committee's final plan requested by Rep. Harder include:

Climate Resilient Technologies for Farmers

Investments in technology designed to reduce water consumption and carbon emissions
Funding to allow farmers to replace existing farm machinery similar to the "Cash for Clunkers" program
Support for water-efficient irrigation systems

Research and Development

Increase funding for research into carbon sequestration technologies for farmers
Fund agroecological research to offer farmers tools and management approaches that help them build resilience to climate change and mitigate impacts of climate variability
Enhance technical assistance for partnerships through cooperative extensions at universities
Create partnerships between the public and private sectors to support research into climate stewardship practices for farmers

Conservation Practices

Support conservation management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Support the planting of cover crops and rotation practices
Provide increased technical assistance to farmers and expand that support in future Farm Bills
Fund State Soil Health initiatives

Beginning in October of last year, Rep. Harder began pushing the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to include farmers' needs in their final climate plan. The plan will form a blueprint for Democrats to confront the worsening climate crisis in the coming years. Historically, many climate solutions left out the voices and needs of America's farmers. Rep. Harder is committed to ensuring the needs of our food producers are considered as we take real action to confront the climate crisis.