Paris climate agreement signed

Agreement builds upon work farmers are already doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In December, 200 total countries came together to reach a climate agreement in Paris, France, that establishes a long-term and durable framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency for the future. The agreement was signed April 22 and builds upon work farmers are already doing, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

“America's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have a track record of coupling extraordinary productivity gains with natural resource stewardship, which positions them well to contribute to the climate solutions called for in the Paris Agreement,” Vilsack said.

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's conservation programs have helped American producers install practices that have reduced net greenhouse gas emissions by more than 416 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or approximately 60 million metric tons per year — the equivalent of taking 12.6 million cars off the road for a year.

Vilsack said through USDA's Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry, the agency plans to accelerate these efforts, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon sequestration by more than 120 mmt per year by 2025.

“At home and abroad, USDA and its partners will continue to demonstrate that climate-smart strategies can build resilience, reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage in our soils and forest while boosting productivity and improving global food security," Vilsack said.

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