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Legal Pathways to Carbon-Neutral Agriculture

October 2017

Citation: ELR 10845

Author: Peter Lehner and Nathan A. Rosenberg

This Article, excerpted from Michael B. Gerrard & John C. Dernbach, eds., Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (forthcoming in 2018 from ELI), examines the agricultural strategies, practices, and technologies available to increase soil carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It details pathways for amending existing federal and state legal regimes and enacting new ones, and recommends improving public agricultural research, development, and extension efforts; reforming federal subsidy and conservation programs; and revising trade policy, tax policy, regulatory strategies, financing for carbon farming, grazing practices on government land, and greenhouse gas pricing. It also describes how the private and philanthropic sectors can stimulate carbon farming; strategies for reducing emissions that stem from farm inputs and that result from food processing, distribution, consumption, and waste; and the potential to encourage consumption of climatefriendly foods through national dietary guidelines, procurement at all levels of government, and privatesector initiatives such as certification schemes and healthier menu options.

Peter Lehner is Senior Attorney and Director of the Sustainable Food and Farming Program at Earthjustice. Nathan A. Rosenberg is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

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