Friday, December 12, 2008

Climate Change Wrapup

Fred Yoder again, just wrapping up here at the UN Climate Change conference in Poznan, Poland. Today is the last day, and it has been a busy one. Al Gore addressed the delegation this afternoon as sort of a send-off to get ready for the final meeting in Copenhagen a year from now.

As we part from here, I do think there were many positive things that occurred. Yesterday and today, Sara Brodnax and I had meaningful exchanges with representatives from the EU, Brazil and India concerning agricultural solutions to climate change. As I said before, the ag presence here was next to nill, except for Brazil showcasing their low-carbon biofuels production. As we talked to them about soil carbon sequestration programs, it was not even on their radar screen. All who we talked to were very interested in continuing to exchange ideas and possibly develop ag-based solutions for this new treaty. In our discussions, it became apparent this type of program would benefit the developing countries as well since it could be implemented in a size-neutral way, giving everyone a stake in the solution regardless of their size or economic situation. Every country grows food.

As we leave Poznan, I can only hope we can continue to develop these new relationships and form meaningful partnerships. We need to develop ideas that would benefit all of the world's agriculture producers, and come back to the next conference with a real emphasis on agriculture as a major player. Together, we can have a real impact. As the world economic outlook looks bleak at the moment, surely we can be a driver to create efficient and economic incentives through the growing of crops worldwide while reducing our carbon footprint. At the same time I hope to continue building on those relationships with the legislative staff from the US who attended as well as we develop our own climate legislation.

So long from Poland,
Fred Yoder

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