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The agriculture industry would be able to participate in a growing carbon credit market under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday that would funnel money to farmers who use sustainable practices. 

Farming, while a source of emissions itself, also presents vast opportunities to sequester carbon in soil and plant life.

The legislation tasks the U.S. Department of Agriculture with creating a certification program to assist farmers and forest landowners in “implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices,” according to a press release.

“As Americans we have the ability to come up with climate solutions that can benefit our economy and our way of life,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a release.

“The United States has long been a leader in innovation. This legislation is an opportunity to put our knowledge and can-do spirit to work to promote business opportunities for the agriculture industry while promoting the protection of our environment,” he said.

The legislation was introduced by Graham, alongside Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

Many large corporations have made commitments to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Their plans rely not only on reducing their own emissions but often offsetting them by buying credits from parties who are able to reduce more carbon outputs.

The bill has the backing of environmental and farm groups along with numerous corporations like McDonalds and Microsoft — both of which have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint.

Tags Carbon Climate change Debbie Stabenow farmers Lindsey Graham Mike Braun Sheldon Whitehouse

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