Warren would pay farmers to fight climate change under new plan

Warren would pay farmers to fight climate change under new plan
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Warren, Yang fight over automation divides experts Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE (D-Mass.) would pay farmers to fight climate change if elected president under a new policy proposal released Wednesday.

The White House hopeful's farm economy plan aims to jumpstart the agriculture sector by, in part, incentivizing the community to invest in sustainable farming practices. 

“As President, I will lead a full-out effort to decarbonize the agricultural sector by investing in our farmers and giving them the tools, research, and training they need to transform the sector,” Warren wrote.

Warren added that by working with farmers, the U.S. would be better positioned to achieve the emissions-cutting objective of the Green New Deal: to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.

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The agriculture sector is a top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally. Food production, deforestation and agriculture, which are all intrinsically linked, produce about 23 percent of all human-created greenhouse gas emissions across the world. In the U.S., agriculture is the source of 9 percent of all such emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Through her plan, Warren would expand the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program — a voluntary program that compensates farmers for conservation-focused farming practices. Warren’s plan would increase the current $1 billion investment in the program to $15 billion annually and increase the number of sustainable practices accepted under the program.

“This will put our future investment in conservation above the level we currently fund commodity programs. And I will support staff at USDA to empower them in the fight against climate change, from scientists in Washington all the way down to the county-level offices tailoring solutions to challenges in their local communities,” Warren wrote.

Other climate-focused aspects of her plan include committing $400 billion toward research and development of green manufacturing — another plan of Warren’s. The plan invests in innovations for decarbonizing agriculture practices.

Warren’s plan comes a day before the United Nations is set to release the latest in a series of climate change reports. The focus of Thursday’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is emissions releases from land development and is anticipated to paint a dire picture of the greenhouse gas releases that come from agriculture and land usage. 

Other Democratic presidential candidates have also released plans to touch on the agriculture sector as a source of major emissions. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) have also called for paying farmers to sustainably farm. In his own plan, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE called for the U.S. agriculture sector to be the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions by connecting them to new carbon markets.