Letter to Congress Regarding the Growing Climate Solutions Act, September 7, 2021
September 7, 2021
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
I write in support of the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 (H.R. 2820 and S. 1251), a bipartisan bill that passed in the Senate on June 24 and now awaits consideration in the House of Representatives. This bill empowers farmers to develop climate solutions that benefit agriculture as well as the environment, supporting agriculture’s vital role in the stewardship of our common home.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 creates incentives for farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices. It directs the USDA to clarify which farming practices reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon and how to measure these outcomes, as well as creating a certification process for third parties to help farmers verify the carbon credits they generate through greener practices. The Growing Climate Solutions Act also has a broad base of support among the agricultural sector as well as environmental groups.
In his encyclical, Laudato si’: on care for our common home, Pope Francis calls for “a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (no. 14). Our nation’s agricultural leaders can play an important role in environmental stewardship by ensuring that our food systems are good for human beings and good for the earth (See The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader, 2).
Farmers have much to offer to the care of our common home. The Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 provides a framework for recognizing the positive contribution of agriculture in addressing climate change and reflects the integral ecology that does justice to the land as well as the people who live and depend on it.
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
Chair, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
Mr. James Ennis
Catholic Rural Life