November 30, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (November 30, 2015) – As world leaders convene in Paris for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-21), National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson called for a strong outcome to COP-21 negotiations.

“Family farmers, ranchers and fishermen take very seriously their role in maintaining and promoting food security domestically and globally,” said Johnson. “And climate change inhibits their ability to reliably produce sufficient amounts of nutritious food, while straining the infrastructure and distribution systems. Significant action and international cooperation in Paris is needed to avoid climate-related food security disruptions.”

Johnson noted that scientists believe change of any more than 2 degrees Celsius in global average temperatures may result in severe and irreversible consequences, and that world leaders should cooperatively take action to avoid what is currently impending disaster.

“Growing consensus among credible climate scientists indicates that greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic sources have set us on a course for a 5 degree Celsius shift in global average temperatures,” said Johnson. “NFU calls on world leaders to take decisive action to establish a plan for avoiding temperature increases greater than 2 degrees.”

Johnson expressed gratitude for the Obama administration’s work engaging farmers and rural America in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Efforts taken through U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the secretary’s Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry, the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership and the Climate Hubs education initiatives, provide farmers with important tools to take part in climate change mitigation and continue producing through climate-related disruptions that cannot be avoided,” he said.

“With the exception of recent unfortunate decisions on biofuels, the administration has demonstrated strong leadership and sets a global example for enlisting farmers and rural communities in the fight to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.