NCFC President Discusses Agriculture’s Role in a Reduced Carbon Economy


Jean-Mari Peltier, President & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) discussed the role that forestry and agriculture can play in a reduced carbon economy and how these industries can be part of the solution to addressing global climate change during a speech this week at the 4th National 25x’25 Renewable Energy Summit, held here in Omaha, Neb.

NCFC President Discusses Agriculture’s Role in a Reduced Carbon Economy

For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Darisse, 202-879-0816, jdarisse@ncfc.org

Omaha, Neb. (March 14, 2008)—Jean-Mari Peltier, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), discussed the role that forestry and agriculture can play in a reduced carbon economy and how these industries can be part of the solution to addressing global climate change during a speech this week at the 4thNational 25x’25 Renewable Energy Summit, held in Omaha, Neb. ”The agricultural industry has a real opportunity to make a positive impact on a reduced carbon economy, and benefit financially while doing this,” said Peltier. “At the same time, the industry needs to be vigilant to ensure that we are maximizing opportunities for US producers under any new legislative, regulatory or market-based initiatives; in particular, it is important for agriculture to emphasize the role that perennial crops, such as fruit trees, grape vines and the like, play in the carbon sequestration process.” Peltier pointed out that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the agricultural and forestry sectors have the potential to sequester as much as 25% of the nation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; in addition, she noted, the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that agriculture and forestry could sequester an additional 40 to 590 million metric tons of GHG per year. These opportunities include both soil sequestration of carbon and the use of methane capture in animal agriculture operations. “Agriculture’s ability to fulfill this promise is contingent on the price for carbon in the marketplace,” Peltier continued. “Currently, carbon is only trading for around $4 per ton; new laws and regulations being discussed, however, could result in dramatic increases in the value of carbon, leading to greater potential benefit to agricultural producers.” NCFC has developed a program of information briefings for its farmer-owned cooperative members to explore some of the same challenges and opportunities that Peltier outlined in her speech. The speech came a week after NCFC meet with representatives from the EPA’s Climate Change Division to discuss EPA’s plans for reporting rules on emissions of GHG, as mandated by an amendment to the FY 2008 Consolidated Appropriations bill. The Renewable Energy Summit at which Peltier spoke is hosted by the 25x’25 Coalition to further the goal of meeting 25% of the nation’s energy needs with renewable resources—biomass, biofuels, wind, solar power, geothermal energy, and hydropower—by the year 2025. NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 300,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.

Additional information about NCFC and farmer-owned cooperatives can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.-End-

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