Sunday, December 13, 2009

COP15: Governments must enable environmental markets - USA

The Obama Administration believes governments should work to make environmental markets possible by providing the infrastructure they need. Secretary for Agriculture Tom Vislack told the Agriculture and Rural Development Day audience at Copenhagen last night that both farmers and governments will need to change their thinking to capture the benefits from on-farm activities that can reduce the severity of climate change: "I ask American farmers and ranchers to look at climate change not just as a problem, but also as an opportunity for those who want to make their living on the land more profitable by reducing their carbon footprint... To capture these opportunities farmers and ranchers will need to rethink the business model that they operate under, develop new ways to partner with businesses and industries that will be demanding greenhouse gas reductions, and governments will need to create the infrastructure necessary to drive successfully environmental markets." Secretary Vislack stressed the dangerous food production scenarios mapped by the FAO as the need for urgency. He said the world needs scientific researchers focussed singlemindedly on finding solutions, not science for science's sake. He ended his speech by referring to his new grandson Jake, 5 months old. "He's the reason that Climate Change is something personal for me."

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