National | Letters

Throne speech should support farmers and ranchers to reduce GHGs

Dear Right Honourable Prime Minister,

I am writing on behalf of our farm-family members to request that in your September 23rd Speech from the Throne you will “support farmers and ranchers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience.”

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is a founding member of the Farmers for Climate Solutions (FCS) coalition. FCS has prepared a report, A Better Future Starts on the Farm, that includes farm-focused recommendations for a resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations have been designed by farmers, for farmers.

The NFU and FCS are researching, refining, and prioritizing on-farm practices and supportive government policies that can reduce GHG emissions and increase climate resilience in Canadian agriculture. We also have ideas for actions that can aid in economic recovery: creating green jobs in rural communities, improving farmer livelihoods, and reducing emissions. As climate impacts intensify, many farmers are innovating with practices that reduce emissions, foster adaptation, and improve livelihoods. Farmers cannot reduce emissions and advance climate adaptation alone; we need your help, and a vital first step is a clear commitment in your government’s new agenda.

For the most part, Canada’s current climate plan left out farmers and agriculture. However, agricultural emissions are significant and rising. Canada will not meet its Paris commitments without farmers on board. Worse, the Prairies are on track to warm by 6.4 degrees this century. If allowed to occur, such temperature increases will be disastrous for farmers and for Canadian food security. Farmers need your government’s help to reduce emissions and adapt to a changing climate.

As you set a new agenda for Canada, we expect that in your Speech from the Throne you will prioritize food and farming and include “Supporting farmers to reduce emissions and build resilience.” Along with helping farm businesses recover from the pandemic, an investment in farmers will help to revitalize rural communities and help them prepare for the clean economy of the 21st century, while also protecting or enhancing biodiversity, water quality, and air quality.

We have met with Cabinet Ministers and their staff members, and they have all been very supportive of our farmer-led work to accelerate climate action in agriculture. Food and farming are integral to Canada’s economy, food security, and environmental stewardship. We need a whole-government approach. Therefore, the NFU urges you to meet with FCS representatives to discuss the need to advance climate action in agriculture in Canada.

We look forward to your commitment to climate action in the Speech from the Throne and to your meeting with FCS representatives.

A better future for Canada starts on our farms. Sincerely,

(signed)

Darrin Qualman
Director of Climate Crisis Policy and Action National Farmers Union

About the National Farmers Union (NFU)

Founded in 1969 by an Act of the Canadian Parliament, the NFU advances policy solutions to ensure that family farms remain the primary food producing units in Canada. With thousands of members across Canada, and representing farms of all sizes and producers of all agricultural products, the NFU works on issues such as raising farm income, food safety, environmental sustainability, collective marketing, removing barriers to the entry of young and new farmers, and climate change.

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