Policies & Advocacy

The Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA) is a national coalition of 17 farm organizations committed to meaningful and collaborative dialogue with the federal government around carbon pricing. The ACA’s mandate also includes advocating for practical options regarding offsets, rebates, exemptions and reductions in agricultural GHG emissions and building consensus on policy solutions that support the ag sector.
The ACA’s members are stewards of roughly 62 million hectares, which represents >7% of the land in our country — and includes 190,000 farm businesses.
As a resilient driver of our economy, Canada’s primary agriculture industry contributes $32 billion to our gross domestic product, while the entire agri-food industry represents $135 billion and provides 1 in 9 Canadian jobs. Agriculture is a national success story in terms of productivity and growth; however, it requires a policy environment that enables agriculture’s continued growth. Farmers have a history as environmental stewards who, in addition to adopting new technologies, have proven their ability to soften their environmental footprint while protecting their profitability. Sharing the story of Canadian agriculture’s history of innovation as a climate solutions provider is an important part of ACA’s advocacy.
The ACA’s federal policy priorities are as follows:
On-Farm Exemptions

Farmers and ranchers continue to face rising costs for producing food, including on necessities such as inputs and transportation. These costs are compounded by the carbon surcharge.

Farmers and ranchers are required to dry their grain, irrigate their land, and heat or cool their barns, greenhouses and other agricultural growing structures in order to feed Canadians and drive our export market. With no alternative fuel sources available, these necessary practices are unfairly penalized by any increase in the price of carbon.

As such, amendments must be made to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to extend exemptions for qualified fuel to marketable natural gas and propane, and include machinery used for grain drying, irrigation, and heating and cooling of livestock barns, greenhouses and other agricultural growing structures. 



Carbon offset protocols must be accessible to early adopters and open to science-based measurement. This should include the recognition of activities that began prior to January 2017, where appropriate, and incorporate flexibility to accommodate advancements in verification.

The ACA welcomes the opportunity to engage on Enhanced Soil Organic Carbon Protocol and its applicability to no-till, intercropping, grazing, and winter cover cropping. We also look forward to engaging on future protocols for Livestock Feed Management, Avoided Conversion of Grasslands, 4R Climate-Smart Offset Protocol and Livestock Manure Management.


Incentives, Rebates and Research

The Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF) commits a portion of the revenue collected by the carbon tax for rebates and retrofits that reduce carbon emissions for small and medium-size enterprises — such as farms.

Unfortunately, CAIF has not been open for applications since the summer of 2019, and ACA continues to engage the federal government on how to efficiently return this revenue for critical emission reduction projects.

The ACA also welcomes the opportunity for further engagement on the Natural Climate Solutions Fund, Resilient Agricultural Landscapes Program (and other forms of research), and the Living Labs Initiative to ensure that they span across each province and growing region in Canada. It is critical that these initiatives engage with farmers to ensure that critical innovations in sequestration are developed into offset protocols as soon as possible. In addition, as funding opportunities are announced, a full understanding and focus on the compatibility of government programs is crucial to their long-term success and uptake. Programs need to be developed and implemented alongside meaningful engagement with farmers. 


Emission Reductions

The Fertilizer Emissions Reduction Strategy, and more largely the National Emission Reduction Plan for the agriculture sector, should remain voluntary and involve more meaningful consultation, as fertilizer is a key input, and often the most expensive input, for farmers. The measurement of fertilizer emissions should be based on emissions intensity, per unit of production, and not on a reduction in absolute emissions. Emission reductions measured solely on an absolute basis will jeopardize farmers’ ability to increase production to address global challenges and demand. Addressing data gaps and modelling issues, targeting indirect emissions while the science is still in its infancy and mitigating for carbon leakage are all additional areas of concern when it comes to emissions reduction in the agriculture sector.

Recently, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released Faster and Further: Canada’s Methane Strategy. The Strategy includes sector profiles, with an expectation for agriculture to reduce absolute agricultural methane emissions by 1 per cent below 2020 levels, by 2030. Canadian livestock groups recommend the government ensure any emissions reductions targets are based on intensity, per unit of production, as opposed to being absolute, so as not to jeopardize producers’ ability to increase production to address global challenges and demand.  Further, we urge the Government of Canada to strongly consider industry as a partner in achieving all emissions reduction goals. Ongoing communication is required to ensure we find solutions to this complex problem.

The ACA looks forward to the improved collaboration between the agriculture sector and government as a result of the creation of the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy’s Advisory Committee and the impending outcomes of the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. The ACA welcomes the opportunity to engage further on agri-environmental policy as we collectively seek to sustainably produce and reduce emissions while at the same time maintaining and increasing productivity and farmer competitiveness.


Net-Zero Advisory Body

In February 2021, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced the Net-Zero Advisory Body; an independent group of experts to advise the Minister on pathways to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The agriculture sector has a unique role in contributing to net-zero emissions. Farmers are at the forefront of a changing climate, while also having a record of adopting practices and technologies that mitigate emissions. Coupled with the sector’s significant contribution to Canada’s economy, ACA calls for agriculture representation on the Net-Zero Advisory Body in order to yield achievable results from the sector that supports competitiveness.


Bill C-203 letter of support (EN)

Bill C-203 letter of support (FR)

Bill C-234 leave behind (EN)

Bill C-234 leave behind (FR)

Re: Senator Black’s Proposed Soil Health Study

ACA Federal Election 2021 Policy Priorities (EN)

ACA Federal Election 2021 Policy Priorities (FR)

ACA Bill C-206 Letter to Senators
June 29, 2021

ACA Bill C-206 Letter to Senators
June 29, 2021

ACA Letter of Support for Bill C-206

ACA Letter of Support to MPs for Bill C-206
May 17, 2021