Biden Sets Stage for Climate Resilient Food & Agriculture


President Biden’s sweeping executive order on climate directs every federal agency to advance the climate strategy of the USA and identifies key steps in the transition to climate-friendly food and agriculture.

The connections between climate change and resilience, land use, food production, nutrition, and what we eat have never been clearer. The climate EO directs federal agencies to: end to fossil fuel subsidies; adopt policies to address disproportionate health, environmental, economic, and climate impacts on disadvantaged communities; and invest in climate-friendly infrastructure and jobs. The EO also takes important steps toward fulfilling President Biden’s campaign promises to advance climate-smart agriculture and protect 30 percent of our nation’s land, waters and oceans by 2030 (30×30).

  • First, it calls for a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative that will create jobs restoring ecosystems and leveraging agriculture’s carbon sequestration potential. The Corps will offer critical opportunities to build wealth in rural communities, help farmers add climate- and ecosystem-friendly features like hedgerows to their operations, and build a new generation of organic and regenerative farmers and farm workers.
  • Second, the EO directs the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a stakeholder process to identify opportunities for climate-smart agriculture, as it will set the tone for the Biden-Harris Administration’s approach to agriculture.
  • Finally, the EO aims to leverage the federal government’s footprint and buying power to lead by example. The climate impacts of food purchases and waste must be recognized as a critical part of every agency’s climate agenda.
  • It is also fundamental to make the most of the grown food as, up to 40 percent of the produced food is wasted and, when the food is wasted are wasted also all the resources used to produce it—and costing the U.S. about $218 billion per year.

Biden’s order commits to using every tool to address climate change, and the food and agriculture sector stands in a unique position as both a climate pollution source and a potent solution. Our national climate policies must center food and agriculture—for the health of farms, our communities, and the Earth.

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