Tag: Crisis

135 Groups Call On President-Elect Joe Biden To Sign An Executive Order Declaring The Extinction Crisis A National Emergency

135 groups recently called on president-elect Joe Biden to take immediate action to confront the rapid extinction of wildlife by signing an executive order to halt the global extinction crisis and restore wildlife.

The order illustrates how Biden can take bold, aggressive action to save endangered species without the involvement of Congress. The United States could be positioned as a leader in the fight to combat extinction, protect public lands and waters, curtail the international wildlife trade, and restore abundant wildlife populations across the nation.

The latest assessment by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 27% of evaluated species of plants and animals around the globe are threatened with extinction. Last year, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned that one million species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trafficking and exploitation of wildlife could give rise to new and deadly zoonotic diseases if allowed to continue unchecked.

By signing the proposed executive order, president-elect Biden would launch the following key actions:

  • Declare that the extinction crisis is a national emergency, which would give Biden increased latitude under the National Emergencies Act to take action without approval from Congress.

  • Create 175 new national monuments, national wildlife refuges, and national marine sanctuaries so that 30% of U.S. lands and waters are conserved by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

  • Aggressively recover imperiled species by protecting all species that warrant it under the Endangered Species Act, and instituting a broad review by all federal agencies of any actions that might harm threatened wildlife and plants. Federal agencies would also be directed to fully integrate climate change into the conservation and recovery of endangered species.

  • Crack down on the global wildlife trade by imposing sanctions on any nation that fails to adequately address illegal wildlife trade or deforestation.

The executive order is part of a suite of proposals the Center and allies will submit to Biden and his transition team in the coming weeks. These include actions to stop new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters and address the climate emergency.

Many of the actions suggested in the proposed order were outlined in Saving Life on Earth, a groundbreaking plan to fight extinction released by the Center in January. Now, a dedicated campaign within the Center, the Saving Life on Earth plan calls for $100 billion for species; for half the Earth to be protected for wildlife; and for dramatic cuts in pollution and plastics.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post 135 Groups Call On President-Elect Joe Biden To Sign An Executive Order Declaring The Extinction Crisis A National Emergency appeared first on World Animal News.

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Breaking! 551 Organizations Urge President-Elect Biden To Solve The Pollution Crisis With The New Presidential Plastics Action Plan

A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan, urging President-elect Joe Biden to take eight key executive actions to solve the plastic pollution crisis.

These include a moratorium on new plastic production facilities, using federal purchasing power to curb single-use plasticplasts, tightening up regulation of the petrochemical industry, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and protecting environmental justice communities from pollution.

Photo of plastic pollution projection in Philadelphia. Photo by Rebecca Begans.

The plan responds to the plastic industry’s aggressive expansion of facilities using the country’s oversupply of fracked gas to make throwaway plastic that fills our oceans, landfills, and landscapes. Petrochemical-plastic projects harm frontline communities with toxic air and water pollution and worsen the climate crisis.

“President-elect Biden can begin solving the plastic pollution crisis in his first days in office without any help from Congress,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Implementing this historic plan would protect vulnerable frontline communities and marine life while addressing a key driver of climate change. It’s time to rein in the fossil fuel industry’s insidious plans to keep fracking for plastic and polluting poor communities here and around the world.”

The Presidential Plastics Action Plan includes detailed steps Biden can take as part of eight priority actions:

  1. Use the purchasing power of the federal government to eliminate single-use plastic items and replace them with reusable products;

  2. Suspend and deny permits for new or expanded plastic production facilities, associated infrastructure projects, and exports;

  3. Make corporate polluters pay and reject false solutions;

  4. Advance environmental justice in petrochemical corridors;

  5. Update existing federal regulations using the best available science and technology to curtail pollution from plastic facilities;

  6. Stop subsidizing plastic producers;

  7. Join international efforts to address the global plastic pollution crisis through new and strengthened multilateral agreements;

  8. Reduce and mitigate the impacts of abandoned, discarded, and lost fishing gear.

Today’s plan builds on the momentum of the Break Free From Plastic movement and the bill by a similar name. The plan is endorsed by 551 groups, from national environmental organizations to small community groups fighting plastic pollution.

Photo of plastic pollution projection in San Francisco. Photo by Drew Photography.

“Plastic production and pollution impact public health, the environment, and climate and it has reached crisis levels around the world, with the United States as one of the biggest contributors. It is for this reason that Senator Tom Udall, Senator Jeff Merkley, and I introduced the comprehensive Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act this year, and will reintroduce it next year,” stated Rep. Alan Lowenthal. “The Presidential Plastics Action Plan lays out how the incoming Biden Administration can lead on this plastic waste issue and enact real solutions like updating important regulations and greater cooperation with the international community. We are running out of time to deal with this crisis, but our bill and the Presidential Plastics Action Plan are important approaches to put us on the right track moving forward.”

The plan dispels the industry-promoted myth that most plastic can be recycled, citing federal figures that only about 8% of plastic consumed in the United States is recycled. Plastic pollution accumulating in the oceans is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.

The plan calls for Biden to appoint a Plastic Pollution Czar to coordinate plastic reduction efforts across federal agencies and internationally. It also requests that he directs the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new ways to measure and reduce plastic pollution and to update and better enforce its decades-old regulations for petrochemical plants that make plastic, something many groups behind this plan also demanded of the EPA in a pair of legal petitions last year.

“Rejoining the international community means not only rejoining Paris, it means joining the global fight against plastics as a partner, not an obstruction,” said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law. “President-elect Biden should commit the United States to actively support a new global treaty on plastic pollution; use U.S. trade power to support real development, not plastic polluters; and move quickly to reverse U.S. subsidies and export policies that are accelerating the plastic crisis globally.”

Anti-plastic activists across the country also recorded segments for a new video urging Biden to adopt the plan and become the first #PlasticFreePresident. They also projected anti-plastic messages on significant buildings in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. among other cities.

Photo of plastic pollution projection in Washington, D.C.. Photo by Greenpeace.

“Everyone in America, regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, or how wealthy their community is, should be able to take a breath or pour a glass of water without ingesting dangerous chemicals and microscopic plastics,” said Senator Merkley. “America was creative enough to invent a million uses for plastic, and now we have to use that creativity to clean up our act and design better alternatives.”

Azulita Project, Beyond Plastics, Break Free From Plastic, Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education, Clean Air Council, Food and Water Watch, and Plastic Pollution Coalition are among the convening partners for the plan.For a full list of supporting organizations, Click Here.

Tell your members of Congress to protect oceans and marine life from plastic pollution by voting in favor of a first-of-its-kind recently introduced bill that would phase out certain single-use plastics and shift the burden of plastic waste to the companies producing it. Please sign in support of The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, HERE!

Sign this petition urging President Biden to be the leader we need in the fight to end the plastic pollution crisis, HERE!

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The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act Was Introduced To Tackle The Climate Crisis & Protect Marine Life In The U.S.

House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) unveiled the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, along with House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), and original cosponsors, and supporters. This landmark legislation was introduced by more than a dozen members of the House of Representatives to address the ocean impacts of climate change and reform federal ocean management to better account for climate mitigation.

“A healthy ocean is key to fighting the climate crisis,” Grijalva said in a statement. “This bill provides a roadmap for ocean and coastal climate resilience, and uses them to curb the pollution that is intensifying the climate crisis. We must stop the ongoing damage to our oceans to protect the food, jobs, and coastlines that millions of Americans depend on.”

“The ocean is a powerful ally in the climate fight, and unleashing its potential will help us reach our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier,” noted Castor. “The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act incorporates many of the recommendations in our Climate Crisis Action Plan, which gives Congress a roadmap for creating a healthier, more resilient, and more just America. It will unleash the incredible power of the ocean and address the threat that offshore drilling poses to America’s coastal communities, including my own community in Tampa Bay.”

The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act:

Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The bill supports the transition to a clean energy economy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with ocean sectors and increasing ocean-based renewable energy; helping to move away from fossil fuels and protect the ocean and coastal habitats that are important to healthy fish, marine wildlife, and coastal economies.

Increases Carbon Storage in Blue Carbon Ecosystems. The bill recognizes the carbon storage potential and other co-benefits provided by “blue carbon” ecosystems like salt marshes, sea grasses, and mangroves. These ecosystems absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and safely store it at a rate of up to four times that of forests on land. They also protect coastal communities by limiting the impacts of coastal erosion, flooding, and storms; all while providing habitat for marine wildlife.

Promotes Coastal Resiliency and Adaptation. This is necessary to protect the coasts and communities from the climate impacts that cannot be avoided. It authorizes investment in coastal restoration and resilience that is a win-win for the economy, frontline communities, and the environment. 

Improves Ocean Protection. This is done by promoting and protecting healthy ocean systems and wildlife populations, which are better able to adapt to the effects of climate change. Marine protected areas, like protected areas on land, are a key part of protecting biodiversity while tackling climate change, which is more critical than ever due to the current biodiversity crisis.

Restores U.S. Leadership in International Ocean Governance. The bill aims to strengthen U.S. leadership in international ocean governance at a time when transboundary pressures on the ocean demand a coordinated response. These actions would both strengthen U.S. security and promote a resilient global ocean for the 21st century.

The newly introduced legislation enjoys enthusiastic support from environmental groups and ocean experts.

Our ocean is often portrayed as a victim of climate change, but the reality is that it offers a wealth of powerful solutions to fight the climate crisis, from spurring offshore renewable energy and banning new offshore drilling, to protecting blue carbon ecosystems, and creating new marine protected areas in order to conserve 30% of the ocean by 2030,” stated Alex Taurel, Conservation Program Director for the League of Conservation Voters.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act Was Introduced To Tackle The Climate Crisis & Protect Marine Life In The U.S. appeared first on World Animal News.

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