WASHINGTON (November 7, 2022) -- As the world gathers in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt for the latest Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27), the National Audubon Society — the leading bird conservation organization of the Americas — urges world leaders to take action against the climate crisis. Each year, the need for collaborative global action not only becomes more apparent, but more dire.
"At this year’s COP, world leaders must work together to implement a just energy transition to protect both wildlife and people,” said Elizabeth Gray, CEO of the National Audubon Society. “We need to listen to what birds tell us. We’ve lost three billion birds in the last 50 years. Birds are sentinels for healthy climate – if birds are in trouble, people are too.”
In 2019, research from Audubon revealed that in North America alone, two-thirds of bird species are at risk of extinction. That same study also showed that if we can stabilize carbon emissions and limit warming to 1.5°C, over 75% of those birds will be less vulnerable and 150 bird species can be saved from extinction. Yet a new report from the United Nations indicates we are on track for a 2.5°C increase by the end of the century, which would put birds, wildlife, and people at great risk.
Protecting the natural world for birds also safeguards the world for future generations. As Audubon scientists found in a 2021 study, critical bird habitats often overlap with key ecosystems for natural carbon storage. Forests, wetlands, and peatlands are central to both climate mitigation and adaptation. If these priority landscapes are strategically restored and maintained, they will not only serve as safe havens for myriad bird species, but can double their capacities as natural carbon sinks. That is also why any renewable energy infrastructure must be sited in ways that mitigate and minimize negative impacts for birds and other wildlife.
Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization — with a wingspan of over 500 nationwide chapters and 1.6 million members — that protects birds and their ecosystems using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. From shutting down the plumage trade to banning the pesticides that caused the “Silent Spring,” to mobilizing to pass the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act, Audubon has been at the forefront in protecting the places birds and people need for over a century.
Audubon’s work throughout the Americas aligns closely with the overarching slogan of COP27, “Together Towards Implementation.” This fall, Audubon released the Bird Migration Explorer, a first-of-its-kind digital platform that reveals the latest migration data for more than 450 species across the Western Hemisphere.
This year’s COP has introduced another meaningful message: #JustAndAmbitious. In both its national and international work, Audubon recognizes that the climate crisis is already affecting the most marginalized among us, and any global effort and transition to renewable energy must seek to address systematic injustices.
“We must use this COP and the year ahead to implement collective action that reduces climate impacts and safeguards the remarkable diversity of all life on earth,” said Gray.
This press release can be found at: https://www.audubon.org/news/audubon-calls-world-leaders-take-immediate-action-combat-climate-and
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.
Media contact: Robyn Shepherd, firstname.lastname@example.org