On April 28, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) introduced legislation to protect wildlife and natural resources from the effects of climate change.
The “Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment” (SAFE) Act would require federal natural resource agencies to form a working group to plan and implement a long-term national climate change adaptation strategy.
“President Biden’s Climate Summit last week emphasized that in addition to cutting emissions, we must invest in adaptation and resilience for natural ecosystems,” said Aimee Delach, senior policy analyst, climate adaptation at Defenders of Wildlife. “The SAFE Act is designed to do just that. This bill recognizes the countless benefits strong and resilient natural systems provide to our country’s well-being and prioritize climate change adaptation for wildlife and habitats nationwide.”
The development of a national strategy would guide federal adaptation plans, reduce redundancy and costs, and encourage creation of state-specific adaptation plans. Additionally, agencies would be required to identify and prioritize specific conservation and management strategies to respond to climate change.