Team Alberta welcomes news of $10 million in provincial funding for the agriculture industry to work toward climate change advancements, reminds Government that more action is required to reduce carbon levy impacts for farmers
(Calgary, Alberta) October 24, 2016 – Announced earlier today, the Provincial Government’s $10 million investment in the agriculture industry aimed at further developing meaningful climate change advancements is good news for Alberta’s farmers, but work still needs to be done to minimize the financial impact of the carbon levy. Just last week, Team Alberta met with Environment and Parks Minister Phillips and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Carlier and made recommendations to invest in agriculture – a sector already contributing to the reduction and sequestration of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Team Alberta thanks both ministers for taking the time to meet and sees today’s news as a good first step from the Provincial Government in acknowledging that farmers are part of the climate change solution.
This funding will be transferred from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), formerly known as the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC), to enhance four existing Growing Forward 2 (GF2) programs.
“Alberta farmers have been committed to voluntary, continuous improvements that help reduce GHG intensity for decades,” said Kevin Auch, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair. “The financial impact that the carbon levy will have on farmers still needs to be further addressed. But these initial on-farm cost-saving measures indicate that Minister Phillips appreciates these improvements and is taking steps to work with the agriculture industry to further mitigate and adapt to climate change. ”
“We appreciate that the Provincial Government is directing funding from the ERA to Alberta’s largest renewable resource,” said Mike Ammeter, Alberta Barley Chair. “Today’s news is an indication that the government recognizes that farmers should not be solely responsible for the costs of new technology and practice improvement to meet societal objectives.”
“Some of these GF2 programs were already fully subscribed and this investment will reopen them for application,” said Allison Ammeter, Alberta Pulse Growers Chair. “GF2 programs are extremely valuable to agriculture industry advancements and this is a good first step forward.”
“The four crop commissions will continue to represent the interests of our members and emphasize agriculture’s commitment to voluntary advancements that help to reduce GHG intensity – all in the absence of regulations,” said Greg Sears, Alberta Canola’s Chair. “We will continue to encourage further government action to reduce the impact of the carbon tax on farmers and sustain our industry’s competitiveness.”
Team Alberta has learned that the $10 million in funding will be allocated to the following four GF2 programs: On-Farm Energy Management, Irrigation Efficiency, On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics and Accelerating Innovation. Within the on-farm energy management program, funding will be increased from 35 percent coverage for eligible costs with a $50,000 cap to 70 percent coverage with a $750,000 cap.
For more information, please contact:
Alberta Wheat Commission
Alberta Canola Producers Commission
Alberta Pulse Growers Commission