N emissions policy is a mess, let’s not make it messier

The evolution of nitrogen emission policy in Canada is, well, a bit of a dog’s breakfast.

There’s overarching emissions targets, there are several regulations and standards to follow, plus, there’s funding and support to achieve some of this — all tallied up in a ledger that’s controversial (and confusing) in where numbers are added in, or taken away.

It’s a situation ripe for misinformation, disinformation (these are two different things), being uninformed, and pure frustration. Trust me, I get it.

Like it or not, it’s also the reality of where we’re at in agriculture. We know we’re part of the solution on climate action; we know many have already made huge gains in soil health, carbon capture, and water quality protection. The trouble is keeping track of it all, in a way that’s fair to all, is being headed by at least two, if not three or more, government departments. The uncertainty and complexity leaves plenty of room for distrust and confusion.

To try and sum up the importance of staying engaged and active on the emissions reduction file, Shaun Haney and I hashed out where we’re at from our perspective, on not just the emissions reduction targets, but also on the sudden pick up on mainstream media on a “fertilizer ban.” Listen below.

The key, I think, is that farmers stay engaged — positively. The science, the data, the see-with-your-own-eyes proof of the solutions that agriculture provides is there, and producer groups have done a great job over the last year on this file, resulting in real adjustments to policy. The integrity of the debate is critical to staying at the table on this policy.

Agriculture deserves recognition and credit for what it does and can do, but we have to be seen as an equal in the discussion, not dismissed as “fringe.” That’s the bottom line.

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