WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation, at its Annual Meeting assembled June 10-13, 2020, adopted a resolution urging the United States Congress and all federal agencies to swiftly adopt and implement policy actions that will ensure that the United States achieve at least a forty-five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 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 (IPCC); and further reflecting that on April 22, 2021 President Biden announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030; and
WHEREAS, the timelines to 2030 and 2050 being extremely short, it is critically important that the planning and governance of climate change mitigation policies and actions be coordinated and implemented by various government and non-government entities in the most effective and efficient manner possible, drawing upon the well-established roles and strengths of each entity; and
WHEREAS, the Federal government has strong roles in setting of national policy, coordinating with other national and international bodies (e.g., the IPCC), regulation and oversight, both ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ tilting of the playing field in favor of zero- and low-carbon technologies, processes and practices; but federal governance can be slow as a result of partisan politics, lengthy bureaucratic process and other factors; and
WHEREAS, state, territorial, tribal, county, and municipal governments may be well positioned to design and implement policies suitable to their environmental, economic, and demographic conditions, they too can suffer from political and bureaucratic delays; and
WHEREAS, federal and non-federal governments may and should work collaboratively to implement initiatives that help achieve a net-zero GHG emissions economy (hereinafter, “a net-zero carbon economy”) by 2050; and
WHEREAS, private governance by corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), households and individuals may be better positioned to expand, develop and deploy many zero- and low-carbon initiatives more expeditiously than governments, and recognizing that private entities benefit in many ways from government support, but also require oversight to ensure that common good principles are followed; and
WHEREAS, due to the complexity and novelty of multiple entity efforts to be required and the heavy reliance upon technologies and processes that are not yet mature, the process of implementing net-zero plans will require monitoring of project efficacy, oversight to ensure that common good principles are adhered to, and flexibility of net-zero programs allowing for mid-course corrections needed to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050; and
WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation, an NGO with a long history of bringing together diverse stakeholders and forming strong, authentic partnerships, has a unique and important role to play in navigating the difficult conversations around America’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, at its Annual Meeting assembled June 8-12, 2021, supports the target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation recognizes that the implementation of national action plans for the transition of the United States to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 will require coordinated efforts governed by federal, state, territorial, tribal, county, and municipal governments, private entities, impacted communities, individual American residents, and their families; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation supports a national commitment to the transition to a net-zero carbon economy and encourages all governmental and non-governmental entities responsible for developing and implementing such plans to maintain the pace and the coordination of all parties to achieve a net-zero carbon U.S. economy by 2050; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation calls for robust monitoring of the progress toward an economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goal, mid-course adjustments to programs as needed, and the active and transparent collaboration among diverse stakeholders to help navigate a fair and equitable transition to a net-zero carbon economy between now and 2050.