President Biden today announced multiple executive orders committing the U.S. to aggressive climate change mitigation and economic recovery goals through better management of our public lands and waters.

President Biden’s executive orders will have momentous effects on the federal government’s ability to conserve our natural environment, safeguard our food supplies, ensure communities have clean air and water, and minimize impacts of a changing climate:

30x30: President Biden’s commitment to conserve at least 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030 is a huge step toward slowing the mass extinction of species and protecting biodiversity. We lose 1.5 million acres a year to development and from impacts of climate change. Our 80-group-strong Friends Grassroots Network connects thousands of communities and represents the best opportunity for large scale protections of public lands in the West that will help meet the Biden goal of 30% protected by 2030.

Climate Conservation Corps: We’re also ready to activate the power of these local communities as part of President Biden’s Climate Conservation Corps to restore public landscapes and rivers that are key to the well-being of people and the planet while providing job growth and economic stimulus.

Environmental Justice: President Biden’s commitment to make environmental justice part of every government agency is likely the first of its kind and is long overdue. Disadvantaged communities have borne the brunt of disproportionate health, economic and climate disparities for far too long.

Pause on oil and gas leasing: President Biden’s order to pause oil and gas leasing on federal public lands is welcome and needed to fix a broken system that favors industry over people, recreation and conservation. With fossil fuel extraction on our public lands accounting for nearly a quarter of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, this action shows deep respect for Americans who support emission reductions and value their access to the country’s public lands.

About
Brian Sybert is the Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation.
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