SfL Statement on IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land

August 8, 2019

(AUGUST 8, 2019) – This is an important scientific report for policy makers that confirms what we know to be true: sustainably managed farms, ranches and forests, coupled with food system reforms, are critically important pathways for combating climate change and achieving other sustainable development goals. The report confirms the vision that SfL has been advancing for years: working lands can offer the keys to a more sustainable existence.

“The IPCC Land report released today recognizes the near-term solutions that well managed farms, ranches and forests can deliver at scale to combat climate change,” said SfL Co-Chair Fred Yoder. “We look forward to working with our partners across the globe in advancing adaptation and mitigation strategies that address climate, food system and biodiversity goals.”

Thanks to technology, innovation and hard work, America’s farms can sequester carbon, capture methane emissions and produce renewable natural gas, as well as grow feedstocks used to produce low carbon liquid transportation fuels, and harness the sun to produce zero carbon wind and solar energy. Livestock producers using sustainable grazing practices can improve food security by producing much needed animal protein, often on land unsuitable for other uses.

The report makes clear that there are no “silver bullet” resolutions to the challenges posed by a changing climate. While there may be some tradeoffs – as in every endeavor worth pursuing – if changes are made correctly, our nation’s lands can be a major solution platform for producing food, feed, fiber, energy and a host of ecosystem services.

“Farmers need to be able to focus on their capacity to feed the world. Society needs to focus on the will to feed everyone,” said fellow SfL Co-Chair AG Kawamura. “Shifting from food to feed to fuel will let us utilize what might otherwise be ‘waste’ when production efforts fall short. Our diversity is the toolkit that maintains the capacity needed to meet our production and sustainability goals.”

The current financial outlook for U.S. agriculture is grim, with farm income battered by some of the nation’s worst extreme weather events and a growing trade war with key markets. Providing greater ecosystem services does not come without cost to struggling operations. With the farm economy struggling to regain profitability, the IPCC report underscores the need for policies that incentivize and reward farmers, ranchers and forestland owners for delivering what the world needs – solutions from the land.

For additional information, contact Fred Yoder at 614-530-4510, or fredyoder4510@gmail.com; AG Kawamura at 949-254-0218, agkawa@me.com; or SfL President Ernie Shea, at 410-952-0123, or EShea@SfLDialogue.net.

Solutions from the Land (SfL) is a not-for-profit corporation focused on land-based solutions to global challenges. SfL’s mission is to identify and facilitate the implementation of policies, practices and projects at a landscape scale that will result in land being sustainably managed to produce food, feed, fiber and energy while protecting and improving critical environmental resources and delivering high value solutions to combat climate change. For more on Solutions from the Land, clickHERE.

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An Agricultural Renaissance, led by innovative and entrepreneurial farmers, ranchers and foresters constructing sustainable, profitable and resilient systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales capable of producing nutritious food, feed, fiber, clean energy, healthy ecosystems, quality livelihoods, and strong rural economies.