Here’s How the US Department of Agriculture Is Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement

Listen as UN Dispatch's Mark Leon Goldberg speaks with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the department's efforts to fight climate change.

I caught up with my guest, the US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, just after he left the stage at the Climate Action Conference in DC. This was a two day UN backed conference with representatives from local and national governments, the business sector, civil society, NGOs and philanthropies gathered to discuss strategies to implement the Paris Climate Agreement.

Some quick background: the cornerstone of the Paris Agreement are a set of commitments by each government to take certain actions or meet specific goals, and taken together these pledges can meaningfully alter the current climate change trajectory. That is, of course, if these commitments and pledges are actually implemented. The point of this conference was to bring together stakeholders from disparate sectors to make the commitments of the Paris Accord a reality.

Enter the US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. He details the specific actions that USDA is taking to implement the US government’s commitments at Paris. And those are technically interesting, but what I found enlightening in his comments is that it suggests there is a bureaucratic shift underway at USDA to mainstream climate imperatives throughout the department.

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