Nature-Based Carbon Sequestration and Storage for Climate and Wildlife

Number 2018-05

WHEREAS, most nations agreed in Paris in December 2015 to curb emissions to levels that would maintain the average global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration of 1.5 degrees Celsius; and

WHEREAS, scientists have estimated that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, which are currently approximately 400 parts per million (ppm), need to be reduced to at least 350 ppm in order to reduce the worst impacts of climate change; and

WHEREAS, while emissions cuts from fossil fuel production and consumption must be significant and swift, a 350 ppm goal likely cannot be met without ending carbon-releasing land use practices and adopting ones that actually pull carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it; and

WHEREAS, sound management of natural and working lands has the potential to avoid future greenhouse gas emissions while also sequestering and storing large quantities of climate-altering carbon from the atmosphere; and

WHEREAS, land management practices such as forest and wetland restoration, establishment of field borders, cover crops, buffer-strips, and no-till agriculture have the potential not only to sequester and store carbon, but also to restore and protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity in a rapidly changing world; and

WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation has an opportunity to exert leadership in advocacy efforts to enhance carbon sequestration and storage in a manner that builds on the strengths of NWF’s existing work and generate wins for wildlife and ecosystem quality.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, at its annual meeting assembled June 6-9, 2018, in Chantilly, Virginia, urges federal, state, and local policymakers to promote and support management practices on natural and working lands that enhance wildlife habitat while also increasing carbon sequestration and storage, and/or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation strongly discourages land use management practices that do not properly account for wildlife habitat and biodiversity impacts when determining carbon reduction benefits; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, as stated in Resolution 2005-4, the National Wildlife Federation encourages first and foremost the adoption of policies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel sources, and that carbon sequestration policies and incentives alone are not sufficient to confront climate change.