Welcome to Alberta Canola’s Temperature Check – Part two of our four-part summer mini-series on what’s heating up in the policy world of carbon. June was heavy with meetings and readings. Here are the updates:
“We are supporting the Alberta Beef Producers’ submission for the Agricultural Climate Solutions Program.”
The step 1 deadline has passed. Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) submitted the proposal to the Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) program in mid-June. We believe that the ABP submission meets the goals of the ACS program and incorporates the principles of the Living Labs, “focusing on farmers’ needs, broad and diverse partnerships, and testing in the real-life context”. The ABP submission is farmer led, with a broad spectrum of stakeholders representing Alberta’s agriculture industry. Alberta Canola and the Canola Council of Canada both provided letters of support. Farmer-led solutions can increase sustainability, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by integrating beef, forage and cropping systems. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of all groups who worked to create this proposal and are eagerly awaiting the results of the submission. More information about the ACS program can be found here.
“We met with opposition members both provincially and federally to discuss agricultural issues.”
Team Alberta met with MLA Heather Sweet who is the NDP Critic for Agriculture and Forestry. We expressed the importance of competitiveness in international and domestic markets, opportunities for advanced biofuels, having consistent offset protocols, recognizing producers for their environmental stewardship, and working with the federal government to ensure BRM programs are timely, predictable and bankable. We explained that cover cropping may not be a practical option to reduce emissions for all producers. MLA Sweet was highly engaged and well informed about key agriculture priorities and is prepared to support producers.
The Federal Opposition is interested in all opportunities for growth. MP James Cumming from Edmonton Centre who is the Shadow Minister for COVID-19 Economic Recovery asked to meet with Alberta Canola. He wanted to discuss agricultural policy opportunities that would help to grow business and lead Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery. We discussed challenges around international trade and the clean fuel regulation. We explained the serious effect the carbon tax would have on farms and how inputs like fertilizer, and innovative tools and technology are critical for growth and longevity of the crop sector. MP Cumming listened intently and expressed support for finding ways to expand the industry.
“Effective biofuel regulation would increase the domestic market for canola and reduce emissions and international trade risks.”
The federal government, under Environment and Natural Resources, published the proposed Clean Fuels Standard (CFS) in Canada Gazette for review. We can expect the final regulation publication in late 2021. The CFS is meant to “significantly reduce pollution by making the fuels we use everyday cleaner over time” and it will “require liquid fuel (gasoline, diesel, home heating oil) suppliers to gradually reduce the carbon intensity of the fuels they produce and sell for use in Canada over time”. The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) has information about biofuels available on their website because canola plays a significant role as a low carbon feedstock in the production of biofuels. A growing domestic biofuel market benefits canola farmers by reducing risk and reliance on unpredictable export markets. More information about the benefits and details of biofuels can be found on the Advanced Biofuels Canada website.