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EU and US pass climate laws

Yesterday the European Parliament on Thursday (24 June) gave the final green light to the first-ever EU climate law. And also yesterday the U.S. Senate has passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

The EU bill sets targets to reduce net EU emissions by 55% by 2030, from 1990 levels, and eliminate net emissions by 2050. The targets are legally binding, paving the way for a policy overhaul to cut planet-warming pollution faster.

"This is the law of laws because it will discipline us in the years to come," Frans Timmermans, head of EU climate policy, said. The climate law will guide EU regulations in the coming decades. 

The law also requires Brussels to create an independent body of scientific experts to advise on climate policies, and a greenhouse gas budget to define the total emissions the EU can produce from 2030-2050 and still meet its climate goals.

Growing Climate Solutions Act
The Growing Climate Solutions Act has 55 cosponsors, which makes it the first major piece of bipartisan legislation that would help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience through voluntary, market-driven programs. The Growing Climate Solutions Act passed by a vote of 92-8.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act creates a certification program at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets. These issues – including access to reliable information about markets and access to qualified technical assistance providers and credit protocol verifiers – have limited both landowner participation and the adoption of practices that help reduce the costs of developing carbon credits.

This bill establishes a Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program through which is a completely voluntary program where USDA will be able to provide transparency, legitimacy, and informal endorsement of third-party verifiers and technical service providers that help private landowners generate carbon credits through a variety of agriculture and forestry-related practices.

The USDA certification program will put guardrails on carbon credit markets and will ensure that these assistance providers have agriculture and forestry expertise, which is lacking in the current marketplace. As part of the program, USDA will administer a new website, which will serve as a “one-stop shop” of information and resources for producers and foresters who are interested in participating in carbon markets.



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