Environment & Climate Change

As Government policies and measures are designed to address climate change mitigation, enhance sustainable agricultural production, preserve and enhance biodiversity on agricultural landscapes, and resiliency and recovery post pandemic, Government must embrace that agriculture, and especially beef production, will play a significant role in addressing all the aforementioned. Farmers and ranchers are part of the solution in all cases.

Sound policies and measures need to resonate with Canadian farmers and ranchers as much as they do with Government and the general public. Environmental policies and programs designed by the federal government must heed the experienced voices of Canadian farmers and ranchers. The Government of Canada can help the Canadian beef industry to play a pivotal role in achieving Canada’s GHG (Greenhouse Gas) reduction goals by fostering science-based, incentivized practices that encourage soil-based carbon storage in soils and wetlands and by employing technologies and management approaches that reduce overall emissions and the intensity of emissions.

Biodiversity

Air Pollution

Cattle in a field with trees in the background.
  • CCA recommends the federal government can help the Canadian beef industry to play a pivotal role in achieving Canada’s GHG reduction goals by fostering science-based, incentivized practices that encourage soil-based carbon storage in soils and wetlands and by employing technologies and management approaches that reduce overall emissions and the intensity of emissions.
  • Canadian beef farmers and ranchers manage more than 44 million acres of tame and native grasslands that, conservatively, store 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon and sequester the equivalent of 3.6 million cars worth of additional carbon emissions annually. In developing policies and programs, the federal government must recognize and value this sequestration side of the carbon cycle provided through the thoughtful management of Canada’s beef farmers and ranchers.

Market-based Solutions

There is a critical need for Government to facilitate the creation of market-based systems to valuate ecological goods and services derived for agricultural lands, in particular those lands managed by beef farmers and ranchers, and establish the systems to foster incentives. Profitability is key to the sustainability of beef farmers and ranchers and rightful incentive compensations for the provision of ecological goods and services from beef operations can enhance profitability and sustainability. These processes can include markets related to carbon storage, GHG reductions, water quality and quantity improvements, recreation, wetland protection and enhancements, biodiversity enhancements and more. Canada is well behind other jurisdictions, most notably the US, on this front and the federal government can play a critical role in catching up. Establishing such market systems would allow Canadians to make credible claims and investments on specific environmental aspects.

Some examples of ecological services being delivered on private lands managed by beef farmers and ranchers include:

  • Expanded riparian buffer zones that provide critical wildlife habitat and improve water quality,
  • Creating, restoring, or maintaining wetlands, which improve water quality and protect against flooding,
  • Managing native prairie to enhance critical habitat for Species at Risk,
  • Establishing pollinator hedgerows to provide habitat for pollinators, and,
  • Replanting grasslands to sequester carbon.

More information on what the beef sector is doing with regards to sustainability.

All the beef sector’s 2030 goals.

Producer resources on XXX.