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New collaborative aims for carbon-neutral agriculture

Addressing climate change and more specifically, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture – can only be achieved through collective effort. To highlight the role modern agriculture can play in mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Monsanto announced the formation and first meeting of the Carbon-Neutral Collaborative, a consortium of experts on agricultural greenhouse gases. The Collaborative will help develop a framework for agricultural GHG accounting and advise Monsanto on its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2021. Monsanto announced its goal of a carbon neutral operational footprint one year ago; the Collaborative met for the first time Tuesday.

“Since last year, we’ve been energized and inspired by the productive discussions and efforts around climate change from the many stakeholders involved, especially our farmer customers who are the ultimate stewards of the land,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto’s president and chief operating officer. “While the problem of climate change is incredibly complex with many regional differences, the contributions over the past year—by some of the strongest leaders in agricultural and environmental science—are very promising.”

For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service recently awarded a $1 million Conservation Innovation Grant to the National Corn Growers Association, to support work in this area. This grant was matched with $1.6 million from Monsanto and in-kind contributions by several other partners in the project.

The USDA-supported project and the Carbon-Neutral Collaborative have been tasked with developing a scalable and verifiable carbon accounting framework that will provide a transparent system for measuring and reporting carbon reductions based on the adoption of specific agricultural practices and systems. In addition to Monsanto, inaugural members of the Collaborative include experts from:
  • AgSolver, Inc.
  • Applied GeoSolutions
  • Climate Smart Group Inc.
  • Coalition on Ag Greenhouse Gases
  • Colorado State University
  • CropGrower, LLC
  • Kansas State University
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • The Soil Health Partnership
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
The call to address climate change stretches beyond agriculture. At the November United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP22, Monsanto joined with other companies in signing a public statement committing to move forward with the Paris Agreement.

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