On National Agriculture Day, February 11, 2020 the National Farmers Union helped launch a new national grassroots campaign that involves farmers actively participating in Canada’s climate solutions. Called Farmers for Climate Solutions, the campaign is spearheaded by a coalition of farmer-led organizations and supporters. Our message is clear: any conversation about climate change in 2020 must involve agriculture, as farmers’ leadership is essential for achieving Canada’s climate change goals.
Agriculture is one of the first sectors to feel the impacts of climate change, from crops that lie unharvested under snow, late frosts that kill blossoms on fruit trees, extreme weather events that damage crops and soil, and droughts. At the same time, fossil-fuel based agricultural inputs contribute to the climate crisis. The recent National Farmers Union (NFU) report notes that the agriculture sector contributes 12 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The good news is that there are many ways farmers can help reverse this trend, also highlighted in the NFU’s report. In fact, we emphasize that agriculture is one of the most promising sectors for delivering fast and effective climate solutions.
“Across the country, many of us are already implementing climate solutions on our farms and in our communities,” said NFU 2nd Vice President Stewart Wells, an organic grain, alfalfa and pulse farmer who in recent decades has seen extreme weather events increase on his 3500 acre farm in near Swift Current, in southwest Saskatchewan. “Climate-friendly practices will look different from one farm to the next, but every farmer has the capacity to be part of the solution,” he said, explaining that cutting emissions creates other benefits for farmers, including increasing farm resilience, enhancing soil health and improving farmer livelihoods.
Emphasizing the urgency of addressing climate change, Mr. Wells explained that “we can’t do this alone – we need agricultural programs and policies that support climate-friendly farming practices and that take into account the livelihood of Canada’s 270,000 farmers. With Farmers for Climate Solutions, we’re creating a platform for farmers to come together to propose effective and realistic steps that work for their farms and their communities.”
Visit Farmers for Climate Solutions for more information about this exciting new initiative!