Ahead of the announcement of President Biden’s comprehensive infrastructure proposal, Sarah Greenberger, Senior Vice President, Conservation Policy at the National Audubon Society, made the following statement:
“We have a unique opportunity to re-imagine our country’s infrastructure to meet our economic, public health and environmental problems. As we recover 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 humans and wildlife need to survive. Integration of natural infrastructures such as wetlands, beaches and barrier islands in technical systems; Investing in habitat restoration and clean energy; Mitigating climate risks for communities that have historically borne the burden of climate change will create jobs and lead to a better and cleaner future for all of us. “
Roseate Spoonbill, Copyright Mark Hows, from the Surfbirds Galleries
Priorities consistent with Audubon’s vision of a cleaner future for birds and humans include:
- Modernize our electricity sector by generating 100% clean electricity by 2035 and expanding the necessary transmission network, promoting employment growth in economically disadvantaged communities and reducing emissions;
- Clogging orphaned oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines, which also create jobs while preventing unnecessary pollution from entering the air and waters;
- Building a more resilient power grid to withstand extreme weather conditions and increasing demand;
- Investing in research, development and manufacturing of low carbon technologies;
- Eliminate fossil fuel tax preferences and ensure that polluting industries pay for cleanup;
- Eliminating inequalities in communities that have historically borne the environmental and economic pressures of climate change, including many black, indigenous and colored communities;
- Maximizing the resilience of land and water resources to protect communities and the environment, including by investing in natural infrastructure; and
- Mobilizing the next generation of conservation and resilience workers by investing in a new civilian climate corps.
A 2019 Audubon report found that two-thirds of North American bird species will be critically endangered unless urgent action is taken to slow the current rise in global temperatures. Reducing emissions by investing in clean energy, natural infrastructure and our workforce is critical to reducing the worst effects of climate change.
You can find this declaration at: https://www.audubon.org/news/biden-infrastructure-proposal-present-unique-opportunity-cleaner-future-birds