Vilsack Highlights USDA Climate Initiatives and Investments at COP27

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT, November 12, 2022 – At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initiatives and investments in smart agriculture and forestry climate, noting that global food security depends on the ability of farmers and producers around the world to increase their productivity while building their climate resilience and minimizing their climate impacts.

“As we face the twin crises of climate change and food insecurity, the USDA recognizes that changes to our agriculture and food systems can only happen at the scale and speed necessary if farmers are central to our solutions,” said Vilsack. “Under the Biden-Harris administration, the United States is making unprecedented investments in innovative approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The USDA is proud to play a pivotal role through our new climate-smart commodity partnerships, once-in-a-generation investments through the Cut Inflation Act, and other initiatives that position U.S. agriculture as a leader in providing climate solutions through voluntary and incentive-based measures. market-driven and collaborative approaches. It was an honor to highlight at COP27 the leadership role of the administration and that of American agriculture in the fight against the climate crisis.

Partnerships for climate-smart commodities

Vilsack used the international platform at COP27 to showcase the Climate-Smart Commodity Partnerships, through which the USDA is investing in new revenue streams for climate-smart US farmers, ranchers and forest owners. to the climate. These projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart production, and bring direct and significant benefits to agriculture, including small-scale producers. underserved.

At numerous COP27 events, Vilsack highlighted the USDA’s initial $2.8 billion investment in 70 pilot projects from the first pool of funding that will bring significant benefits to producers and communities in all 50 US states. The projects will result in the application of climate-smart production practices on more than 25 million acres of working land, with expanded market opportunities and revenue streams for growers of all sizes and types. . All of these projects require meaningful participation from underserved producers.

Today, Vilsack announced that the USDA will commit an additional $300 million to the second batch of pilot projects by the end of the year, bringing the total planned USDA investment to $3.1 billion. . More than 65 additional projects will focus on the enrollment of underserved small-scale producers, as well as methods to be developed in minority-serving institutions to monitor, report and verify the benefits of climate-smart agricultural practices.

“Underserved small-scale producers are on the front lines of the worst impacts of climate change around the world. At the same time, there is a huge and growing market demand for agricultural products produced in a sustainable and climate-smart way. Our goal is to expand markets for climate-smart commodities and ensure that underserved small-scale producers reap the benefits of these market opportunities,” Vilsack said.

International climate center

“As the USDA and our partners around the world invest in new climate programs and innovations, we recognize that sharing information – about successes, challenges and approaches – can have broad global benefits. Sustained commitment to learning and action within the international community will be key to accelerating the adoption of proven, climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices,” Vilsack said.

As part of the USDA commitment, Vilsack announced that the USDA will establish an international climate hub, modeled on USDA’s National Climate Hubs, which serve as a leading model for developing and providing information and science-based, region-specific technologies to US farm managers to enable climate-informed decision-making. The International Climate Hub will provide information and resources tailored to specific regions and needs, including a focus on countries and producers most vulnerable to the effects of global climate change. The hub will leverage results and innovations generated by USDA’s national and international programs and initiatives, including the Climate-Smart Products Partnership pilot projects.

Global Fertilizer Challenge

Earlier this year, President Biden invited world leaders to join the United States in the Global Fertilizer Challenge, with the goal of raising $100 million in support by COP27. Today, Vilsack joined the President’s Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, in announcing the US$25 million commitment to this challenge, which includes:

  • $20 million for the Fertilize properly initiative, through which the USDA will work with governments and local organizations around the world to advance fertilizer efficiency and nutrient management, starting with Brazil, Colombia, Pakistan and Vietnam.
  • $5 million for the Efficient Fertilizer Consortium, to be created by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and implemented in partnership with AIM for Climate, to advance applied research on efficient fertilizer products and practices in collaboration with the private sector.

“Simply put, farmers need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to grow their crops. But lack of access to fertilizers hampers productivity in many low-income countries, while in most major economies more than 50% of fertilizers fail to reach the intended crop. Adoption of innovative and efficient fertilizers and cultural practices will alleviate pressure on supplies, reduce nitrous oxide emissions and reduce food insecurity around the world,” Vilsack said.

Agricultural Innovation for Climate Mission

In a series of events focusing on the Agriculture Innovation for Climate Mission, which was launched by the United States and the United Arab Emirates last year at COP26, Vilsack highlighted the progress and achievements of the initiative to date. He also announced that the United States will host the AIM Climate Summit in Washington from May 8-10, 2023, bringing together public and private sector partners from around the world to collaborate and deepen their groundbreaking work on climate-smart agriculture. climate and food systems innovation.

Vilsack also announced two new USDA contributions to AIM for Climate:

  • $5 million for the Enteric Fermentation Research and Development Accelerator, an AIM for Climate innovation sprint led by the Global Methane Hub, to accelerate cost-effective solutions to reduce enteric methane emissions; and
  • $5 million for the Efficient Fertilizer Consortium as part of US support for the Global Fertilizer Challenge (see above).

Pathways to Dairy Net Zero

Recognizing the vital role of sustainably managed livestock and dairy systems in addressing climate change and food security, Vilsack highlighted USDA’s domestic and international efforts to advance climate-smart dairy production, notably :

  • Awarding more than $400 million for nine dairy-focused projects under the first round of climate-smart product partnerships, which will help create additional revenue streams for U.S. dairy farmers by developing markets for Climate-Smart Dairy and will help the U.S. dairy sector more effectively monitor, verify, and report greenhouse gas reduction benefits.
  • Collaborate with the Department of State, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Global Dairy Platform and the International Food Policy Research Institute to help mobilize $1 billion from the Green Fund for climate in order to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the dairy sector in East Africa, Asia and the Americas within the framework of Pathways to Dairy Net Zero.


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