Bold action will be required of President Biden and his incoming Administration in order to restore the health of our people, our economy, and our planet and to ensure the long-term future of each. At the same time, we must confront the three inter-related crises of an ongoing pandemic, worsening climate change, and the unsustainable loss of nature and biodiversity on a global scale. There is no doubt that our broken relationship with nature is at the heart of all these crises.
Of critical importance, the Administration should make clear to the rest of the world, through its commitments and its actions, that the US will resume its place as a global leader on efforts to stop climate change, protect nature, and promote a more secure, sustainable, and prosperous future. In particular, the Biden Administration must make clear that efforts to halt climate change and biodiversity loss will be at the center of our foreign policy and foreign assistance going forward.
Join us, in signing our petition today and asking President Biden to prioritize the health of people, the economy, and our planet when establishing his actions in the coming months.
Sign the petition today!
Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris,
As you and your Administration begin your work, there is an opportunity to reset our relationship with nature. In your first 100 days as the new President and Vice President of the United States, I encourage you to fully embrace the challenge and the opportunity to guide our nation on a more sustainable, more just, and more equitable path.
As you put in place your agenda for the coming four years, I ask you to prioritize the following issues and actions:Building Back Better & Preventing Future Pandemics
Champion an ambitious future-focused recovery and stimulus package that ensures we build back better, both in the US and globally. In addition to addressing the immediate health and economic crises, this means designing recovery investments to cut carbon emissions, speed America's transition to clean and renewable energy, and build the resilience of communities and nature to climate change. It also means making significant new investments internationally to prevent future pandemics by addressing the root causes of the spillover of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife to humans via the wildlife trade and the destruction and conversion of forests and other natural habitats.
Launch a whole-of-government Task Force to ramp up and guide US efforts to address these root causes of pandemics and zoonotic spillover, working in collaboration with foreign governments and international entities and promoting a "One Health" approach.Climate Change
Make good on the promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement on Day 1, accompanied by a series of executive actions to guide US government action on climate change and a clear and timetable for the US to put forward new and enhanced commitments under the Agreement in advance of COP26, and drive global ambition by convening international partners on multiple occasions in 2021.
Direct EPA to put in place new carbon pollution and GHG standards for power plants and vehicles, in line with ambitious new global targets and commitments.
Provide significant new funding for international efforts to address climate change, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including through the Green Climate Fund.The Global Biodiversity Crisis
Make efforts to halt the loss of nature and the decline of ecological systems globally a top priority, alongside efforts to address climate change, and strongly integrate these efforts into US foreign policy, foreign assistance, and national security policy, including through an Executive Order to direct and guide the US government response to this challenge.
Significantly ramp up funding for global conservation and efforts to halt nature loss, bilaterally and through the Global Environment Facility, to put the US on track to double its investments in these efforts over the course of the Administration's first term.
Rescind damaging regulations and guidance adopted during the Trump Administration with respect to the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the use of science in federal decision-making.Illegal Trade in Wildlife, Timber, and Fish
Reaffirm and revitalize the Presidential Task Force and National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking, created under President Obama, revive the related Advisory Council, and reauthorize the END Wildlife Trafficking Act.
Fully implement, fund, and enforce the Lacey Act amendments of 2008, designed to address the illegal timber trade, including a phase-in of all outstanding wood product categories by the end of 2021, and support legislation to prevent the import of commodities produced on illegally deforested or degraded lands.
Continue to strengthen US leadership in ending Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and associated human rights abuses, including through an Executive Order on Seafood Integrity and other steps to ensure all seafood imported to the US is fully traceable and complies with the necessary standards."30 x 30"
Support a goal to conserve 30% of lands, waters, and oceans by 2030, both domestically and globally, through the creation of new protected areas as well as incentives for conservation and sustainable management of working and private lands and waters, in close collaboration with communities, Indigenous Peoples, and the private sector.
Engage diplomatically to drive ambition in advance of COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity to help secure strong global commitments to protect, conserve, and restore nature, including the goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030.
Announce a goal of ending deforestation, forest degradation and the conversion and degradation of natural habitats, backed up by legislation and increased global investment.
Reflect these commitments in relevant domestic policies, such as the Farm Bill and decisions around the leasing of federal lands. Among the first actions the Administration should take is to halt lease sales in the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and take these areas permanently off limits for oil and gas exploration, in addition to vetoing Pebble Mine.Plastic Pollution
Support comprehensive efforts to phase out the use of unnecessary plastics and other materials and establish the standards, incentives, and awareness to create a circular economy, through legislative and administrative action.
Lead diplomatic efforts to achieve a binding international treaty to drive and coordinate these types of actions globally, including work with Congress to accede to the Basel Convention.Environmental Justice
Support policies to rectify the historical inequities and disadvantages that have led low-income communities, communities of color, and tribes and indigenous communities to be disproportionately affected by pollution and environmental degradation, including deep consultation with these groups and prioritizing investments in these communities to build resiliency and green infrastructure and promoting clean air, clean water, clean energy, and sustainable food systems.