State Climate Policy

Audubon protects birds from climate change, one statehouse at a time.

Climate change affects regions and communities in different ways, which means that bird lovers across the country are engaging at the local level to protect the birds that they love. The National Audubon Society works alongside state offices, local chapters, and community partners to identify and address specific climate solutions. Here are some highlights of our recent work.


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Engaged Phoenix Voters to Support the Light Rail

The light rail system in Phoenix creates jobs, generates non-sprawling urban development, and reduces the carbon emissions of over 45,000 daily riders. Despite its multiple benefits to the city and its citizens, the light rail program in Phoenix was under threat. For the fourth time in 19 years, Phoenix voters affirmed their support for the light rail system, with nearly 2/3 of voters supporting the continued use of city funds to develop, explain, and maintain the light rail system. Expansion plans for this light rail system include a route that would take riders to Audubon’s Rio Salado Audubon Center, connecting more of the community to this nature center.

Audubon in Action

You Did It! Light Rail to Expand after Prop 105 Soundly Defeated by Phoenix Voters

Updated August 27, 2019
Western Water News

Audubon’s New Climate Report and What it Means for Birds in the Arid West

Fires and drought put increasing stress on western forests and the birds who live there.
Western Water News

Climate Change Threatens Arizona’s Forest Birds

New Audubon report shows about half of Arizona’s birds are vulnerable.


Defending and Expanding Solar and Net Metering

Audubon built and led a broad coalition to pass the Solar Access Act in 2019.  Work now moves to implementing the mandates in that Act.  That means Audubon will engage with the Arkansas Public Service Commision (PSC) to ensure that the goals of the legislation are fully implemented and the benefits for consumers and businesses are realized. 

Press Room

Little Rock Audubon Center Goes 100% Solar

Audubon becomes Arkansas’ first 100% renewable energy-powered nonprofit
Audubon in Action

Audubon Arkansas’ Lobby Day Proves Key in Passage of Solar Access Act

Grassroots organizing and advocacy helped make Arkansas a regional player in the clean-energy movement.
Audubon in Action

New Law Lets Audubon Arkansas Go 100 Percent Solar

Audubon Arkansas enters the solar arena by fueling renewable energy innovation at the Little Rock Audubon Center.


Protecting the rich and varied bird habitats of Florida facing specific threats from climate change from Key West to the Panhandle

For over a century, Audubon has been the most influential conservation voice in the state of Florida. Adapting to new challenges posed by climate change, Audubon Florida has recently claimed significant victories in helping Miami-Dade County electrify its fleet of buses, and securing the approval of the largest community solar program in the country.

Seas & Shores

New Legislation Taps into Coasts’ Potential to Store Carbon Pollution

Audubon supports the introduction of the Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act.

Higher Water Levels Make Nesting More Difficult for South Florida Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbills faced a tough nesting season.

Florida's Shorebirds Saw a Big Breeding Bump After Hurricane Michael

The hurricane's storm surge created optimal nesting habitat for Snowy Plovers and other beach birds, newly released data show.


Working across the political spectrum to ensure a cleaner and safer future

Audubon works with our members and Indiana’s leaders at both the state and federal level to support industries like agriculture and forestry to meet the challenges of a changing climate.

Renewable Energy

New Indiana Poll Reveals Strong Bipartisan Support for Renewable Energy

Net metering policies proves to be very popular among Indiana voters.
Red-winged Blackbird. Cathy Bennington/Audubon Photography Awards
Press Room

Reintroduced Legislation Removes Obstacles to Reducing Pollution on Working Lands While Helping Producers and Wildlife

The bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 helps reduce emissions from farms, ranches, and forests while providing support to landowners
Sandhill Cranes. Mary D'Agostino/Audubon Photography Awards

A Bipartisan Approach to Reduce Emissions on Working Lands

The Growing Climate Solutions Act recognizes the role played by farmers, ranchers, and foresters in the fight against climate change.


Establishing a Clean Energy and Emissions Standard for the City of New Orleans

Working in partnership with Energy Future New Orleans, a coalition of local and national organizations and businesses, Audubon Louisiana and the National Audubon Society supported a clean energy standard for the city of New Orleans that would require 100% clean energy by 2050, and an offsetting of carbon emissions by 2040. The standard was approved in April 2020. Audubon and EFNO are currently working on outlining regulations to implement the standard.

Press Room

New Orleans Approves Net-Zero Carbon Standard by 2040

Historic measure commits New Orleans to a zero-carbon energy portfolio by 2050, phasing out fossil fuels.

Economic Impacts Analysis Determines Resilient-Renewable Energy Standard is the Best Path Forward for New Orleans

The proposal, submitted by the Energy Future New Orleans coalition, will establish a 100 percent Renewable Energy Standard by 2040 and result in more jobs, greater emissions reductions, and more local investment than alternatives
Press Room

Louisiana Announces First-Ever Climate Goals

Governor John Bel Edwards sets targets for reducing carbon emissions and establishes resilience strategies across state government.

New York

Setting a nation-leading precedent for greenhouse gas reduction

In 2019, New York set a bold example for the nation when Governor Andrew Cuomo officially signed New York’s ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) into law. Audubon New York —alongside many local Audubon chapters and environmental partners—successfully advocated for this ambitious climate bill, which puts the state on the path to achieving the highest reduction of greenhouse gases in the country by 2050. Next step:  A Climate Action Council will develop a scoping plan to reach net-zero emissions goals across all economic sectors.


Landmark New York State Climate Bill Signed Into Law

The sweeping climate legislation sets the target of creating a net-zero carbon economy in the state by 2050.

New York's Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act

The Governor's proposal includes measures to protect threatened and endangered species.
From Audubon Magazine

How State and Local Governments Are Leading the Way on Climate Policy

With the federal government failing to act, many states and cities are taking it upon themselves to cut emissions and increase resiliency.

North Carolina

Building Grassroots Support for Clean Energy and Other Initiatives to Protect Birds from a Changing Climate

Audubon North Carolina has been working with advocates to deliver climate and clean energy victories for years. In 2017, Audubon led a successful campaign to establish a new competitive marketplace for solar energy in North Carolina that would nearly double the amount of installed, large-scale solar energy over a four year period. Since then, Audubon advocates have been leading the way in speaking out against legislation that would slow North Carolina’s transition to cleaner energy and establishing North Carolina as a leader on clean energy.

Press Room

North Carolina Passes Major Bipartisan Climate Bill

House Bill 951 requires deep cuts to carbon emissions on a timetable that will help reduce the worst impacts of climate change for birds and people.

Report Finds North Carolina Is Well-Positioned for Battery Storage Growth

A study commissioned by Audubon shows that North Carolina has an opportunity to lead in battery storage.

Audubon North Carolina Hails Bipartisan Plan to Double Down on Solar

In 2017, a multi-stakeholder bill to expand the state’s solar industry was pushed over the finish line with the help of grassroots support.

South Carolina

Creating grassroots support for renewable energy that benefits both people and birds

In Spring 2019, thanks in part to the efforts of Audubon members across the state, the South Carolina legislature nearly unanimously passed the Energy Freedom Act to help ease restrictions on solar energy in the state. Keeping up that momentum, Audubon Ambassadors continue to support statewide efforts to expand renewable energy to promote cleaner air for people and wildlife, while creating jobs.

South Carolina Senate approves SC Energy Freedom Act

Audubon South Carolina Applauds the Senate for its leadership
Audubon in Action

Audubon Ambassadors Push for Clean Energy in South Carolina

At lobby day, Audubon South Carolina members take action to ensure a healthier future for the state and birds.

Audubon Study Confirms Solar Is a Major Economic Driver in South Carolina

Audubon South Carolina's newly commissioned report shows that the solar energy industry has a $1.5 billion impact in the state.


Supporting a New Clean Energy Standard in Virginia

As a strategic partner with the Virginia Clean Economy Act coalition, Audubon supported the Virginia Clean Economy Act by enhancing grassroots, communications, and outreach capacity in the state. In March 2020, grassroots advocates helped push passage of the landmark VCEA, setting a roadmap for Virginia to provide 100 percent of its electricity from carbon free sources by 2050 by increasing investment in energy efficiency and giving homeowners, businesses and municipalities the ability to generate their own power through wind and solar.

Press Room

Virginia Becomes Climate Leader in Southeast Passing Historic Clean Economy Act

The 100% clean energy standard legislation gives birds and people of Virginia a “fighting chance against climate change.”
Audubon in Action

Grassroots Advocates Help Push Passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act

The new law will accelerate the adoption of clean-energy innovation and help Virginia go carbon-free by 2050.
Press Room

Virginia Governor Signs the First Statewide Clean Energy Standard in the Southeast

Gov. Ralph Northam gives the birds and people of Virginia hope for a clean energy future with the Virginia Clean Economy Act.


Delivering on the Promise of Groundbreaking First Steps

Efforts by Audubon Washington contributed to historic clean energy policies and a bill to help farmers and working lands capture carbon emissions. Work continues on initiatives like the Clean Fuels Standard.


Washington Legislature Passes Strongest Clean Energy Bill in the Pacific Flyway, Sends to Governor

Statewide grassroots effort by Audubon Washington and partners paved way to establishing a 100 percent clean energy standard.

Finding Natural Solutions to Cutting Carbon Emissions in Washington State

This legislative session, the Evergreen State can help lead the way in using its own natural resources to capture and store harmful emissions
Bushtit on an Oregon Grape. Luke Franke/Audubon

Reigning in Carbon Emissions and Advancing Justice in Washington State

Climate and environmental justice made progress in the 2021 Washington State Legislature