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How farms can be part of the climate change solution: US Agriculture Secretary

Kenneth Underwood
Senior Producer

The signing of the phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China delivers some much needed relief to the U.S. farming industry, which has been crippled by the ongoing dispute between the two nations.

As part of the deal, President Trump announced China would purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years, including $32 billion of agriculture products. 

The news comes as farmers face a massive challenge on another front — climate change. 

In the the latest "Global Risks Report” from the World Economic Forum, hundreds of business leaders and academics from around the world listed climate change as the biggest risk facing the world for the next decade. 

People demonstrate as Greenpeace stages a climate protest at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in Schiphol, Netherlands December 14, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

While the shifting climate has taken a toll on farms, they are also part of the problem. 

A recent report from the EPA showed that agriculture production accounted for nearly 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, joined Yahoo Finance’s On the Move to discuss the trade deal and ways the agriculture industry is working to address climate issues.

“We're developing techniques in order to have our farms be carbon sinks, rather than carbon captures. Obviously, growth of, not only trees, which we know is a great carbon sink and a carbon capture, but even our growing annual crops are doing that… I expect we'll be talking more about the ability of farmers to be part of the solution, rather than any part of the problem as they've been denigrated in the past.”

Kenneth Underwood is a senior producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter@TheKennyU.

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