Farmers are stewards of the land, committed to preserving resources for generations to come.
Canadian agriculture occupies a large and important part of the Canadian environment. The farm community is the chief steward and manager of extensive natural resources, owner and architect of much of the landscape and protector of a precious soil resource. In its concern for the environmental fabric of Canada, CFA believes that great importance should be placed on measures of environmental management to ensure maintenance of land resources which provide food for the people of Canada and a large part of the world’s population.
There is a growing awareness in Canada of the relationship between agricultural production and environmental issues. Canadian farmers are aware of their responsibilities and are taking positive steps to ensure the environmental sustainability of their industry.
- Farmers should be recognized for their role and accomplishments in environmental stewardship
- Support for climate change research and tools to foster resiliency and adaptation
- Ensuring ongoing competitiveness of Canadian agricultural products in a world market
- A national bioeconomy strategy to support the development of sustainable products and supply chains
- Investments that support continuous improvement in sustainable Canadian agricultural production
Carbon pricing: Addressing competitiveness challenges
Canadian producers are concerned about maintaining competitiveness as they face the prospect of higher costs for inputs due to carbon pricing. While much of this action and policy making is being led at the provincial and territorial level, some issues such as policy consistency across provinces are of a federal interest. Agriculture must be recognized as an offsetting sector to mitigate the impacts of carbon pricing across the value chain and prevent Canadian products from becoming less competitive internationally. Many of our competitors such as Australia and the U.S. have no plans to institute carbon pricing and most of Canada’s agricultural exports’ are priced globally.
For Canadian producers to remain competitive, it is absolutely crucial that revenues from carbon pricing are dedicated to funding producers for:
- clean technology
- research and innovation
- climate change adaptation and mitigation
- resilience building measures
- compensating for higher inputs costs
It’s vital to ensure producers can benefit from carbon pricing by receiving compensation through offset protocols for carbon sequestration, or significant reductions in nitrous oxide emissions. While agri-environmental conditions are different across Canada, incentives should be made available to all producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The greenhouse sector, which relies on CO2, requires close consideration in order to support ongoing production in Canada.
- Governments must take action to ensure that carbon pricing policy is truly revenue neutral for agricultural producers
- All on-farm fuel use, including propane and natural gas for purposes beyond greenhouse heating, must be exempt from carbon pricing
- Government must invest in agricultural innovation to fully capitalize on the sector’s carbon offsetting potential
- Incentives should be created to ensure that carbon sequestration opportunities are available all farmers across Canada
- No climate policy should have the effect of directly or indirectly negatively impacting food security
- Agriculture requires a non-carbon pricing approach that focuses on incentives, adoption of clean technology and management improvements to reduce emissions
- The co-benefits that agriculture provides must be carefully considered when designing climate policy
- Canadian agricultural producers should be recognized for their early investments and provision of climate related ecological goods and services
- Agricultural-based GHG emissions should be considered on an intensity basis to reflect food security needs and the vast differences in efficiencies that exist
- Greater recognition for the role of clean technology that has and will reduce emissions further
- Governments must strive to achieve greater consistency in climate change policies in order to reduce impacts on agricultural producers