The world is facing a climate crisis that is dramatically impacting farmers and growers across the world. As temperatures rise, rainfall becomes increasingly unpredictable, extreme weather events happen more frequently and soils are eroded through desertification. These changes mean that crop yields are increasingly inconsistent, and agricultural businesses are struggling to adapt.
However, in the United States, climate change divides opinion with many still questioning its scientific validity. Former President Trump said climate change was ‘an expensive hoax’ and curried political favour by pulling the US out of the UN Paris Agreement in 2017. However, under President Biden, the new administration has put climate change at the heart of its plans. Within hours of being sworn in on January 20th, President Biden ensured that the US re-entered the Paris Agreement and he reversed President Trump’s authorisation of the Keystone XL pipeline. For many Americans, the Biden Harris administration offers hope that the US will take its climate responsibilities seriously once more, with the goal of keeping us within the two-degree Celsius limit.
In light of this new US leadership, the Sustainable Food Trust talked to farmers across the US to understand how they view climate change and what steps (if any) they were taking to address it. Over the course of 2020, the SFT interviewed a range of American farmers, growers and producers, in order to hear how they are farming as the climate changes. This report provides a summary of those conversations.
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