Press Release: Agriculture Opportunities & Challenges from Climate-Energy Policy

Press Release
July 22, 2010
Pew Center Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, (703) 516-4146
The Clark Group, LLC Contact: Sara Hessenflow Harper, (703) 209-9484

Opportunities & Challenges for Farmers from Climate-Energy Policy
New Paper Makes the Case for the Agriculture Sector to Actively Engage in Legislative Debate

Washington, D.C. – In the high-stakes debate over the United States’ climate and energy future, a new paper explains the key reasons why farmers should be engaged participants. The study – U.S. Agriculture and Climate Change Legislation: Markets, Myths, and Opportunities – presents an objective assessment of climate legislation’s impacts on agriculture and identifies realistic opportunities such legislation can deliver.

The paper, prepared by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and The Clark Group, LLC, argues that U.S. farmers are best suited to advocate for key policy provisions that could unleash new market opportunities for agriculture. These include the principles of a robust greenhouse gas offset market and the creation of renewable energy opportunities.

“It is critical to have the voice of U.S. farmers at the table in our national climate-energy debate,” said Pew Center on Global Climate Change President Eileen Claussen. “Meaningful action to advance climate and clean energy solutions creates challenges and opportunities for U.S. farmers. Only with their constructive engagement can we help ensure that U.S. policy effectively addresses their concerns and ideas.”

Key reasons why farmers should play an active and productive role in U.S. climate-energy policy discussions include:

  • American farmers and industry will face greenhouse gas (GHG) limitations regardless of what happens in the legislative process. 
  • Costs to farmers from GHG legislation can be substantially mitigated by cost-containment mechanisms.  
  • The opportunities for farmers to realize a net economic gain from climate legislation are significant.  
  • Climate change and resulting weather patterns pose numerous and serious risks for agriculture.

The paper was authored by Jessica Shipley, a Solutions Fellow at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and Sara Hessenflow Harper and Laura Sands, Partners at The Clark Group, LLC.

U.S. Agriculture and Climate Change Legislation: Markets, Myths, and Opportunities can be accessed online at

For more information about global climate change and the activities of the Pew Center, visit

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The Pew Center on Global Climate Change was established in May 1998 as a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.