WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation affirms the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is occurring due to human activity, and heeds the urgent advice of scientists to limit average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts; and
WHEREAS, climate change is a major threat facing the nation’s ecological health and wildlife due to its potential to, among other impacts, exacerbate extreme weather events, disrupt migratory patterns, ecosystem functions and critical biological events, and diminish food supplies (as underscored in numerous Federation policy resolutions); and
WHEREAS, climate change is leading to rapid shifts in the landscapes and seascapes American wildlife and people living here depend on, placing numerous species at risk of extinction within this century if current rates of emissions continue; and
WHEREAS, natural disasters across America including storm surge, sweltering heatwaves, torrential downpours, extremely intense forest fires, spread of infectious disease in wildlife and people, and toxic algal outbreaks are becoming more dangerous and widespread due partly to climate change, and their impacts have negatively affected people and wildlife across the United States; and
WHEREAS, average global temperatures are 1.0°C hotter today than they were before the industrial revolution and studies show that many different ecological processes such as food webs and species distribution are already being affected by this rise in temperature. And warmer global temperatures are bringing about other climatic changes that can fuel and amplify natural disasters, posing additional threats to wildlife and people alike; and
WHEREAS, Since 1980, the number of extreme weather-related events per year costing the American people more than $1 billion per event has increased significantly, and the total cost of these extreme events for the United States has exceeded $1.1 trillion; and
WHEREAS, those people experiencing the harshest impacts of climate change did the least to cause the problem and, thus, there is a need to put equity considerations within our policies, systems, and practices to develop solutions that respect people, drive inclusive economies, and improve well-being for all; and
WHEREAS, climate pollution abatement policies to achieve the scientific targets will transform the lives and livelihoods of those living in communities that have economies based on fossil fuel extraction and processing.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, at its Annual Meeting assembled June 12, 2020, hereby urges the United States Congress and all federal agencies to swiftly adopt and implement policy actions that will ensure that the United States will achieve at least a forty-five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2010 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions (taking into account carbon removal) by no later than 2050, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation recommends that in considering and issuing permits, licenses, and other administrative approvals and decisions, including but not limited to the execution of grants, loans, and contracts, Congress and the Administration shall align policies so as to avoid such decisions that are inconsistent with or will interfere with the attainment of the 2030 and 2050 targets that the scientific community dictates we must meet; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation recommends that in considering and issuing permits, licenses, and other approvals and decisions, including but not limited to the execution of grants, loans, and contracts, Congress and the Administration shall take affirmative action on behalf of disadvantaged communities including, but not limited to those communities experiencing the dire impacts of the changing climate and those that that may experience short-term economic dislocation due to efforts aimed at meeting the 2030 interim and 2050 goals, to positively transform their lives, livelihoods and communities.