1. By selling carbon credits through a venue such as the Chicago Carbon Exchange.
2. Another way is by marketing renewable energy credits (RECs) to an electric utility that is under mandate to buy part of their electricity from renewable sources, in states like Minnesota (and California), whose utilities must obtain at least 25% – 33% respectively from renewable sources by 2025 (MN) and 2020 (CA).
For now this financing opportunity is only available in those states that have passed greenhouse gas reduction legislation.
But once the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (CEJAPA pdf) makes it through the predictable onslaught of Republican filibusters in the Senate, an investment in pollution reduction would become economically viable in every state.
Cap and trade will help all farmers bring more clean renewable energy to the grid with the help of emissions trading. Here’s how it works:
CEJAPA creates a market for carbon offsets that can be sold by America’s farmers, ranchers and landowners to businesses that are the large carbon emitters: coal, fossil-fueled electric utilities and oil. The money earned by the cap and trade market pays for the capital outlay for greenhouse gas pollution reduction investment.
The farming community is acting wisely in the long term interest of farming in adding more renewable energy, thus reducing the use of fossil fuel which drives climate change.
A future of too many additional over-86-degree F days in summer, and fewer frost days in winter threaten US farming with truly catastrophic losses. Scientists predict there will be a 100% reduction of certain fruit and nut production in the West and an 82% reduction in output by 2100 of Midwest corn and soy.
If my future grand-kids are as fond of sweet corn and avocado as much as I am, losses like this would be quite a blow: making sweetcorn prohibitively expensive.
As in the time of the Pharaohs, an 82% reduction would once again turn sweet corn into a luxury item for the the few. It was not till the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus around 100 AD that Egypt’s corn export trade finally reached 100,000 metric tons per year.
Image: Alfredo Dagli Orti