March 28, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) have announced the creation of a climate solutions initiative to help meet Canada’s ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
“As part of Canadian grain farmers’ ongoing leadership as environmental stewards, we continue to look forward to ensure our competitiveness,” said GGC chair Andre Harpe. “The farmer-driven path to net zero must reflect what farmers have done and can sustainably do in the future, which is why GGC has decided to lead this important initiative.”
“The ‘Road to 2050’ will propose a path forward that focuses on innovation, research and beneficial management practices. This will boost productivity while continuing to enhance soil quality, improving the carbon sequestration potential of cropland and reducing emissions. This decision represents a practical and proactive approach to tackling climate change,”added Harpe.
In addition to identifying opportunities for the sector to continue its contributions to GHG emission reductions, the Road to 2050 is intended to guide government policies and programming directed at Canada’s grains sector, ensuring farmers are supported in their efforts. All recommendations will reflect farmers’ priorities, providing direction for legislators and policymakers who are making investments in research and incentivizing the adoption of beneficial management practices.
GGC is committed to being a leader in this area and finding solutions that align Canada’s climate goals with the unique needs and opportunities of the sector. Canadian farmers are poised to capitalize on this opportunity, as they have a demonstrated history of innovation.
Farmers have been proactive in steadily decreasing their carbon footprint through the adoption of numerous practices that improve soil carbon sequestration, without the need for regulation. Since 1981, there has been a 10 per cent reduction in net agricultural GHG emissions in Canada – primarily driven by beneficial management practices in the regions where crop production is most intensive. This reduction in emissions has been accompanied by a period of historic growth in crop yields and agri-food exports, meaning farmers have been producing more food with fewer emissions.
“We recognize that governments around the world are taking important steps to fight climate change and the reality is that Canadian farms can continue to play a major part in Canada’s efforts,” Harpe added.
Public and private sector collaboration will be a key component of ensuring resiliency in food production systems while moving to reduce emissions. Immediate next steps will involve seeking potential partners as GGC develops solutions for farmers and government, supported and guided by the establishment of a scientific advisory committee.
“Through innovation, we must continue to find ways to produce even more food to support a growing world population while maintaining our track record of constant improvement when it comes to sustainability,” Harpe explained.
“Canada’s grain sector is up for the challenge.”
The Grain Growers of Canada are proud to partner with the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission in the development of this initiative.
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Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.