Fighting climate change can help New York’s rural economy

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Tackling climate change issues would be good for New York’s rural economy, according to a recently released report. The simple task of planting trees and using a specific technique to reduce methane gas from manure on farms will contribute to the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases and will be a boon to the economy, according to the report.

The report found that planting trees in 1.1 million acres of existing forest (reforestation) and 2.4 million acres of currently unforested land (afforestation) over the next 10 years would create the equivalent of 4,600 full-time jobs. It would also create an additional 1,175 jobs and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2). The US Climate Alliance supported the report through funding.

Using a manure management system called “cover and flare” has multiple benefits for farms and the environment. It reduces the odor of stored manure, increases storage capacity by preventing rainwater, reduces runoff that can pollute nearby water bodies, and burns CO2 by reducing the amount released into the atmosphere , according to the report.

“When we sequester more carbon in our forests and reduce methane emissions on our farms, we create jobs, grow our rural economies and build healthier communities and ecosystems,” said Taryn Finnessey, Acting Executive Director and policy director of the US Climate Alliance. “New York is well positioned to benefit from these climate actions.”

If these measures are taken, they will also:

  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce the risk of flooding
  • Increase recreational opportunities
  • Support wildlife habitats as well as wood and renewable energy options

The report’s findings were announced Thursday by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM).

“New York farmers are nationally known for their stewardship of the environment and have a long history of defending our land and water. These practices will help New York State continue to lead the way in the United States’ efforts to combat climate change,” said New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. .

“Agriculture and forestry are vital to New York’s environment, economy and quality of life,” said DEC Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos. “As part of our efforts to reduce emissions in New York, converting land to forests, restoring old-growth forests, and better managing methane from dairy farm manure are key to improving public health and supporting economies. rural.”

The state is committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 85% by 2050. They have taken many steps to achieve this goal, including the promotion of wind and solar energy projects and the installation of electric vehicle chargers throughout New York.

“As we seek every possible means to combat climate change, the findings of the US Climate Alliance report show opportunities to cost-effectively reduce harmful emissions while boosting local economies and ensuring the health of the magnificent natural environment of the state,” said NYSERDA’s chairman and director. Doreen M. Harris, CEO and Co-Chair of the Climate Action Council.

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