Twenty-one nations, including the United States, have formed the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said it sends a strong message to the world that they are taking a historical and meaningful step in addressing the most important issue of our time. The alliance was announced at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Over the next four years, USDA will expand agricultural climate change mitigation research by $90 million and contribute this research to the alliance. Also, USDA will support the participation of developing countries in the GRA through the Borlaug Fellowship program granting Borlaug Fellowships to researchers from Alliance member developing countries so they can work side-by-side with our scientists on climate change mitigation research.
The GRA will focus on research, development, and extension of technologies and practices to grow more food and more climate-resilient food systems without growing greenhouse gas emissions. Anticipated products of the collaboration include cost-effective and accurate ways of measuring greenhouse gas emissions and carbon stored in soil; new farming practices that reduce emissions and increase carbon storage in farmland in different countries; and farming methods that sustain yields while helping to mitigate climate change.