Climate change legislation’s impact on nation's food supply

by Editor
Monday, June 29, 2009

AMI has joined a diverse coalition of food, feed and beverage associations in urging Congress to consider and prioritize the impact proposed climate change legislation will have on the nation's food security.

Legislative approaches must be carefully crafted not only to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also to avoid adverse impacts on food prices and food accessibility, the coalition stated in a letter to Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner.  The coalition noted that when considering the total GHG emissions from each sector, including suppliers, the food, feed and beverage sector has the fourth largest exposure to carbon costs-more than the chemical, retail, basic resources, automobile and parts sectors.

The food, feed and beverage sector is also exposed to significant trade pressure, the letter states.  Yet, to date, Congress has not accounted for these disproportionate impacts on a sector that provides indispensable goods to American families.  The coalition proposes that a cap-and-trade will work best if allowances are distributed proportionately to each industry's emissions, thereby mitigating the direct and indirect impacts on all regulated industries.

In addition, the coalition says that H.R. 2454 could impact domestic food prices which would fall most heavily on the poorest 20 percent of Americans who spend roughly one-third of their after-tax income on food.  The coalition requests that Members not support passage of H.R. 2454 in its current form as it fails to address many concerns of the coalition.