A Farm Bill to Help Farmers Weather Climate Change

19 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018

See all articles by Peter Lehner

Peter Lehner

Earthjustice - Sustainable Food and Farming Program

Nathan Rosenberg

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic; University of Arkansas School of Law

Date Written: July 24, 2018

Abstract

The farm bill has an enormous impact on climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture account for almost 10 percent of total U.S. emissions and up to a quarter of all emissions globally. The farm bill encourages the use of carbon-intensive agricultural practices and products responsible for these emissions, but nonetheless offers several opportunities to quickly expand carbon sequestration, making it a critical piece of climate legislation. This essay will examine the climate impact of the farm bill, focusing on the commodity, conservation, and crop insurance programs. It then proposes politically feasible changes to these programs aimed at minimizing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing carbon storage. The essay concludes with an ambitious, long-term set of farm bill proposals designed to transform the U.S. agricultural sector into a carbon sink.

Keywords: food law & policy, agricultural law, environmental law, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, farm bill, conservation, carbon sequestration, sustainable agriculture

Suggested Citation

Lehner, Peter and Rosenberg, Nathan, A Farm Bill to Help Farmers Weather Climate Change (July 24, 2018). Journal of Food Law and Policy, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3219464

Peter Lehner

Earthjustice - Sustainable Food and Farming Program ( email )

CA
United States

Nathan Rosenberg (Contact Author)

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic ( email )

122 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02130
United States

University of Arkansas School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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