Confronting the Climate Crisis

The global climate crisis is the defining challenge facing wildlife and people alike. From severe fires, floods and storms to disease and drought, the impacts of the changing climate are becoming more apparent with each passing day.

The National Wildlife Federation has led the way in developing commonsense, collaborative solutions that can save lives, protect and restore crucial habitat, put Americans back to work and ensure that no community is left behind. Winning bipartisan support for these solutions has been possible through diverse coalitions to drive federal legislative change.

Natural Climate Solutions

The National Wildlife Federation has elevated natural climate solutions—harnessing the features and benefits of ecosystems such as grasslands, forests and wetlands—that can put Americans back to work during the COVID-19 crisis and make communities more resilient to future disasters. Through its federal policy platform, the Federation has championed nature-based strategies—such as establishing living shorelines, investing in ecologically appropriate reforestation and forest resilience and planting cover crops on working lands— that enhance the health of soils and ecosystems. These approaches can, in turn, capture carbon, improve wildlife habitat, reduce climate risks to communities and create economic opportunity.

The National Wildlife Federation also has brought together diverse coalitions to champion solutions such as ecosystem restoration and land reclamation— including on the sites of abandoned mines— to accelerate a national economic recovery while making a sizable down payment on protecting communities from climate-fueled extreme weather and moving the United States closer to a net-zero emissions future.

Clean Energy

The Federation has also made progress advancing clean energy deployment, including clean vehicle and energy priorities in bipartisan Senate transportation legislation and House infrastructure legislation. In collaboration with clean energy industry groups to successfully advance expanded tax credits in the House, the Federation is also building support with labor partners for added worker standards. To make clean energy expansion equitable, investment in lower-wealth communities and areas of coal industry decline is a priority.

Offshore Wind

Winds of progress continue to blow favorably on offshore renewable energy as states raise the bar for responsible development. Atlantic coastal states are well positioned to help restart America’s economy with clean, local energy solutions that support well-paying jobs, healthy communities and abundant wildlife. In New York, home of the nation’s largest offshore wind policy commitment, the National Wildlife Federation and Environmental Advocates of New York helped secure standards for offshore wind projects that invest in wildlife and communities.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy established, at the urging of the Federation and New Jersey Audubon, an Energy Master Plan that formalizes offshore wind power’s role in the strategy to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050. As states continue to step up, the Federation and its affiliates will advocate for stringent wildlife protections every step of the way while safeguarding communities, creating jobs and supporting sustainable economic growth.

Fighting Deforestation

The National Wildlife Federation’s International Wildlife Conservation program helped strengthen and expand traceability and deforestation monitoring systems in Colombia and Brazil to save tropical forest habitat. In Brazil, the Federation secured formal agreements from the largest meat and leather processing companies to implement Visipec—an innovative new traceability tool developed by the Federation and partners—to help companies avoid buying from ranchers who intentionally set fires in the Amazon or are engaged in illegal or unsustainable practices. And drawing upon lessons learned from work in Brazil, the Federation helped design and launch innovative agreements between the Colombian government, the private sector and civil society to eliminate tropical deforestation and wildlife habitat loss associated with national beef and dairy supply chains.