Farmers are on the front lines of climate change, as we are among those who most depend upon a favourable climate and weather conditions to earn a livelihood. We need climate stability to produce our crops, raise our livestock and maintain the health of our agriculture ecosystem – and to provide the food Canadians eat. We are also in a position to make significant impact on Canada’s carbon footprint by changing our agricultural practices to adapt and reduce our emissions.
The NFU is keenly interested in being a leader in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. We are working across Canada to identify ways to reduce farm and food system GHG emissions. We also have many members already putting low-carbon production into action on their own farms. We seek to share our knowledge and experience as a resource for policy makers as we embark on this important journey.
“The unchecked use of fossil fuels over the past 200 years has caught up with us. Today we have a duty to correct the damage done, but we also have a great opportunity to learn how we can work with Nature, including soil microorganisms, insects, plants, animals and water to produce abundant, healthy food without damaging our atmosphere.” – Ian Robson, NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator
Both adaptation and mitigation are required for agriculture to play its part in preventing catastrophic climate change and for food production and farmer livelihoods to be maintained into the increasingly uncertain climate future.
The NFU has adopted the following positions regarding climate change:
- The NFU demands that all levels of government acknowledge the need to massively and urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Global warming is a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon-dioxide. Carbon can be sequestered through proper soil conservation practices. There are proposals to measure stored carbon in terms of carbon credits which may be commodified and traded amongst countries. It seems very likely that carbon credit trading will result in richer countries buying credits from farmers in developing countries and this practice may allow for actual increases in greenhouse gases. Therefore, the NFU believes that individual countries must be responsible for greenhouse gas reduction within their own border. The NFU further believes that carbon credits should not be commodified and traded between nations, companies, or individuals.
- The NFU supported the Kyoto Agreement and urged the federal government to ratify it.
- The NFU provides information, support, and climate change mitigation strategies to farmers.
- The NFU encourages all levels of government to create comprehensive agriculture rebate programs based on measurable on-farm carbon emission reductions and increased carbon sequestration.
The NFU is a member of the Climate Action Network