Wildlife Friendly Renewable Energy Infrastructure

Number 2018-02

WHEREAS, the impacts of climate change are serious and are escalating for wildlife, communities, and the economy; and

WHEREAS, climate change is, in large part, caused by the burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation; and

WHEREAS, renewable energy sources, such as solar,—including distributed solar— onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, and tidal power are now technologically and economically feasible and becoming a rapidly increasing part of our energy mix; and

WHEREAS, most nations agreed 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 many states and localities have committed to take action consistent with those goals; and

WHEREAS, despite some positive steps by certain states, tribes, territories, regions, cities, and localities, current commitments to renewable energy generation are not sufficient to reach emission reduction goals; and

WHEREAS, a substantial additional build out of renewable energy at a rapid pace is needed to meet emission reduction goals and avert calamitous wildlife consequences; and

WHEREAS, new, resilient grid infrastructure is necessary to accommodate, incorporate and balance the build out of large scale renewable energy generation; and

WHEREAS, distributed renewable energy can increase of the resiliency of electricity grids in communities vulnerable to climate change-related events like hurricanes, floods, and other storms; and

WHEREAS, the build out of this needed infrastructure, both the generating facilities and associated infrastructure, present risks to wildlife and habitat that must be addressed.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation at its annual meeting assembled June 6-9, 2018 in Chantilly, Virginia, supports federal, state, tribal, territorial, regional, city, and local policies that promote the wildlife-responsible development of renewable energy such as solar,—including distributed solar—onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, and tidal power to address climate change and move toward eliminating our use and reliance of fossil fuels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation supports the environmentally responsible build out of a more resilient grid infrastructure that can better incorporate and support renewable technologies, allow for emissions reductions to occur at the pace and scale needed to address the impacts of a rapidly changing climate and to provide communities more reliable power in the face of increasingly frequent and more intense climate change related weather events; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation promotes policies and practices that ensure that renewable energy infrastructure development is done in a manner that is protective of wildlife and habitat, avoiding and minimizing impacts to wildlife and their habitat, promoting policies and practices that blend compatible habitat wherever possible, compensating for any impacts to wildlife and habitat that cannot be avoided, and balancing the needs on public and private lands for conservation and outdoor recreation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation encourages the President of the United States to promote, and the United States Congress to enact, legislation to provide adequate federal funding for research and development of renewable energy technologies and solutions to risks presented to wildlife from renewable energy infrastructure development.