Axne Helps Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Carbon Markets Access for Iowa Farmers and Producers

April 22, 2021
Press Release
Bill that would lower barriers for accessing carbon credits earned for climate conscious farm and land use practices also advanced in the Senate today

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) helped reintroduce bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House aimed at breaking down barriers for farmers and producers interested in participating in carbon markets and rewarding climate-smart practices used in Iowa agriculture and land use.

Limited access to reliable information about carbon markets and qualification red tape have restricted both landowner participation in carbon markets and the adoption of practices that help reduce the costs of developing carbon credits.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021, which was introduced today with Rep. Axne as an original cosponsor, creating a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets. Through the program, USDA would help connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist the landowners in implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their conservation practices.

“I’ve said for years that our family farmers are some of the best stewards of the land and are engaged in implementing the latest technology or conservation practices to improve crop quality and soil and water health,” said Rep. Axne. “However, the current carbon marketplace is often too burdensome for many farmers to participate in. We all know that carbon markets are key to capturing greenhouse gases back into our soil and improving the health of our environment all while creating new revenue streams for our family farmers. This bipartisan legislation would streamline the process and provide assistance and incentives for further adoption of conservation practices across the Midwest and beyond.”

The legislation would also increase access to information by creating new digital resources for producers and farmers to learn more about accessing these markets, which would in turn increase knowledge and utilization of carbon-conscious practices – leading to fewer emissions, improved soil health, and more sustainable farm operations.

The bill was led by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Don Bacon (NE-02), and has the endorsement of the American Farm Bureau Federation, The Nature Conservancy, National Farmers Union, World Wildlife Federation, American Soybean Association, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Corn Refiners Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, US Cattlemen's Association, Citizen's Climate Lobby, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, and more.

Earlier today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry advanced the Growing Climate Solutions Act by a unanimous vote.

Rep. Axne was also a cosponsor of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in the 116th Congress.