Climate Change & California Agriculture
AB 32 Scoping Plan, 2008
“The agriculture sector is unique in that nearly 82 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the sector involve biological processes….”
“The gaps in scientific knowledge and scientific uncertainty in existing data on greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the complex biological process of agro-ecosystems make the identification of real, permanent, additional, verifiable and enforceable reduction measures difficult to immediately implement.”
“There needs to be a concerted effort among regulatory agencies to address cross-media impacts and the time-consuming approach and sometimes conflicting requirements of the regulatory permitting processes.”
Scientists discuss impacts for CA Agriculture (2009 issue of CA Agriculture)
Monterey County Farm Bureau is participating on the County's stakeholder committee that is working towards a recommendation on how to implement a local climate action plan. Several meetings have already taken place, with recommendations from the Ag participants that any action plan must include crops that sequester carbon as part of the footprint reduction. Fallowing of farm land, conversion to other uses such as preserves or open space, and dictation of crops grown are not acceptable facets of any climate action plan.
Monterey County is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% - 15% by 2020, based on 2005 baseline measurements.
Farm Bureau Policy on Carbon Trading Programs:
We support enhancing and expanding the ability for growers of all agricultural commodities to be able to voluntarily particpate in an environmental carbon credit trading program. Participants would receive compensation if they commit to make operations changes that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program should reflect the diversity of California's commodities and incorporate flexibiiity to deal with possible changes, including market and climatic conditions, that could require operational modifications. All sources and sinks of greenhouse gas emissions need to be included to ensure that any net contribution that growers provide is recognized.