WASHINGTON (March 31, 2021) – In anticipation of the announcement of President Biden’s sweeping infrastructure proposal, Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president of conservation policy at the National Audubon Society, made the following statement:
"We have before us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-imagine our nation’s infrastructure to meet our economic, public health, and environmental challenges. As we rebuild from the pandemic and record-breaking extreme weather events, we must use both human innovation and naturally-existing landscapes in harmony to protect the places that both people and wildlife need to survive. Incorporating natural infrastructure like wetlands, beaches, and barrier islands into engineered systems; investing in habitat restoration and clean energy; and mitigating climate risks to communities that have historically shouldered the burden of climate change will create jobs and result in a brighter, cleaner future for us all.”
Among the priorities that align with Audubon’s vision of a cleaner future for both birds and people are:
- modernizing our electric sector by generating 100% clean electricity by 2035 and expanding the transmission system needed to deliver it, spurring job growth in economically distressed communities and reducing emissions in the process;
- plugging orphan oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines, which will also provide jobs while stopping unnecessary pollution from escaping into the air and waters;
- building a more resilient electric grid to withstand extreme weather and surges in demand;
- investing in research, development, and manufacturing of low-carbon technology;
- eliminating tax preferences for fossil fuels and ensuring that polluting industries pay for environmental clean-up;
- redressing inequities in communities that have historically borne the ecological and economic burdens of climate change, which include many Black, Indigenous, and communities of color;
- maximizing the resilience of land and water resources to protect communities and the environment, including through investment in natural infrastructure; and
- mobilizing the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through investment in a new Civilian Climate Corps.
A 2019 Audubon report found that unless urgent action is taken to slow the current rate of global temperature rise, two-thirds of North American bird species will be vulnerable to extinction. Reducing emissions through investments in clean energy, natural infrastructure, and our workforce is critical to rolling back the worst effects of climate change.
This statement can be found at: https://www.audubon.org/news/biden-infrastructure-proposal-presents-unique-opportunity-cleaner-future-birds
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.
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