Leaving Rural America Behind… Again


THEIR VIEW

By Stephanie Enloe - stephaniee@cfra.org



Statement of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on President Trump’s Paris Accord Announcement

“President Trump promised that he would put America first and he has rightly determined that the Paris accord was not in the best interests of the United States. In addition to costing our economy trillions of dollars and millions of jobs, the accord also represented a willful and voluntary ceding of our national sovereignty. The agreement would have had negligible impact on world temperatures, especially since other countries and major world economies were not being held to the same stringent standards as the United States.

“The Earth’s climate has been changing since the planet was formed – on this there is no disagreement. At USDA, we rely on sound science and we remain firmly committed to digging ever deeper into research to develop better methods of agricultural production in that changing climate. Floods, droughts, and natural disasters are a fact of life for farmers, ranchers, and foresters. They have persevered in the past, and they will adapt in the future - with the assistance of the scientists and experts at USDA. To be effective, our research and programs need to be focused on finding solutions and providing state-of-the-art technologies to improve management decisions on farm and on forest lands.”

A week after releasing a budget proposal that would slash funding for USDA rural development, cut farm conservation programs, and exacerbate hunger in rural communities, President Trump announced the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. The accord is a landmark international commitment to limit climate change below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F), a dangerous ecological “tipping point.”

As the largest per capita carbon emitter and economy in the world, the U.S. must commit to climate action. Under the Paris Climate Accord, we agreed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent compared to 2005 levels. Yet, the current administration has taken steps backwards on climate policy.

Those of us living in the rural U.S. know backtracking presents a threat to our families and communities. Not only are rural communities likely to suffer some of the worst consequences of climate change, but we will miss out on opportunities to shape the direction of global policy and markets.

The National Climate Assessment predicts climate change will have devastating effects on agriculture, forestry, and other sectors upon which rural communities depend. Policies that help avoid these costly scenarios also have economic and health benefits for rural communities. The renewable energy industry grew 14 percent. Solar alone created 2 percent of all new jobs in 2016, yet the administration’s proposed 2018 budget will decimate programs that support research and development of the advanced energy economy.

We cannot afford to fall behind on climate action. As one of only three UN member nations to refuse to participate in the Paris Climate Accord, the remainder of the world will continue to innovate and outpace us. And rural communities in the U.S. will be left behind, again.

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THEIR VIEW

By Stephanie Enloe

stephaniee@cfra.org

Statement of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on President Trump’s Paris Accord Announcement

“President Trump promised that he would put America first and he has rightly determined that the Paris accord was not in the best interests of the United States. In addition to costing our economy trillions of dollars and millions of jobs, the accord also represented a willful and voluntary ceding of our national sovereignty. The agreement would have had negligible impact on world temperatures, especially since other countries and major world economies were not being held to the same stringent standards as the United States.

“The Earth’s climate has been changing since the planet was formed – on this there is no disagreement. At USDA, we rely on sound science and we remain firmly committed to digging ever deeper into research to develop better methods of agricultural production in that changing climate. Floods, droughts, and natural disasters are a fact of life for farmers, ranchers, and foresters. They have persevered in the past, and they will adapt in the future – with the assistance of the scientists and experts at USDA. To be effective, our research and programs need to be focused on finding solutions and providing state-of-the-art technologies to improve management decisions on farm and on forest lands.”

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.