California Farmers Sign Pledge Calling for International Climate Action

As California farmers and ranchers, our livelihoods—as well as the ability to feed America—depends entirely on the climate. Working close to nature, we are the first to notice shifts in weather patterns. On our land and in our harvests, we bear the brunt of floods, drought, and rising temperatures.
 
We are soil stewards who belong to a community beyond our own fields; we don’t plant for seasons but for generations. It’s with this legacy in mind that we pledge our support for the science, commitment, and goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.
 
We vow to continually improve our own on-farm practices to conserve energy and sequester carbon, but we also believe in the dire importance of a collective, worldwide commitment by all nations—including our own—to meet the 1.5-degrees Celsius target stated in the Paris Climate Agreement, all while building a cleaner, 21st century economy.
 
As members of the agricultural community, we are concerned by our president’s decision to pull the United States out of this agreement. We disagree with the current administration that this international accord will harm our economy without mitigating the climate crisis.
 
We ask that our leaders return the United States to its role as a collaborative, global leader in combating climate change. And in the meantime, we support state-based initiatives as well as citizen-funded programs—unbeholden to federal policy shifts—that recognize not only the dire consequences that inaction will have on our farms, ranches, and food supply, but also the regenerative role that we farmers and ranchers can play in reversing these dangerous trends and restoring a healthy carbon cycle.
 
All across California, farmers and ranchers are signing on to the Farmers Climate Pledge, a new public statement acknowledging the consequences that climate change is having on our farms and food system, while defending global efforts like Paris Agreement to curb these dangerous trends. Like similar pledges by city mayors, businesses and citizens across America, these farmers are vowing to do their part to conserve energy and sequester carbon on the local and individual level, but recognize that to truly confront our climate crisis, worldwide collective action is key.
 
America depends on farmers. And farmers depend on the climate. Now is the time to act.
 
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This article was submitted by Evan Wiig.
 
Evan Wiig is the founder of The Farmers Guild and director of communications and membership for Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). All across California, this newly joint organization mobilizes and advocates on behalf of sustainable agriculture and family farms. Learn more at www.farmersguild.org or www.caff.org.
 

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