Our Public Lands and Waters Must Be Managed to Meet Climate Goals

Earthjustice applauds House Natural Resources climate legislation


Geoffrey Nolan, Earthjustice, (202) 740-7030


Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva introduced the Public Lands and Waters Climate Leadership Act. The bill would require the Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the U.S. Forest Service achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals in the coming years by managing public lands and waters to mitigate climate impacts and further the Biden administration’s climate goals. After the bill’s introduction, Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Sara Cawley issued the following statement:

“Public lands alone are a source of nearly one-quarter of all U.S. carbon emissions, and right now, the federal leasing programs for our public lands and waters do not line up with President Biden’s national climate pollution targets, the goals of the Paris Agreement, or extensive climate science. Harnessing the potential of our public lands and waters to mitigate climate impacts requires a whole-of-government approach as well as extensive, repeated engagement with diverse stakeholder groups and experts. We strongly support Chairman’s Grijalva’s legislation to better ensure that management of our public lands and waters adequately accounts for climate impacts, while also creating new opportunities for expert and community engagement.”

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.