September 29, 2020

Following 64-Nation ‘Pledge for Nature’, Udall Renews Call for U.S. to Lead International Commitment to 30x30 Goal to Save Nature

U.S. noticeably absent from United Nations commitment to preserve biodiversity and avoid mass extinction, key measures to save our planet’s human life support system

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus, senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and author of the 30x30 Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate, issued the following statement after the Trump administration refused to join over 60 international leaders in signing the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature ahead of a United Nations international biodiversity summit.

The pledge promises to address the climate crisis, deforestation, ecosystem degradation, and pollution by 2030 as part of pandemic economic recovery plans, given a looming extinction crisis and worldwide ecosystem collapse:

“The United States should be leading the worldwide effort to save 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030 to build a sustainable, productive future and avoid the catastrophic collapse of our planet’s natural life support system. Instead, the Trump administration again relinquished our global leadership role by refusing to sign the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. The science tells that we have lost two-thirds of all wildlife in just the last fifty years. Our collective survival depends on urgent action to conserve the global ecosystems of wildlife and habitats that sustain the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. 

“I introduced the 30x30 Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate to reinforce the United States’ commitment to saving our natural world from the unsustainable patterns of consumption and waste that chip away at our future survival. Nature destruction is both exacerbated by climate change and worsens the effects of the climate crisis. These twin crises demand global action. Just as we humans cannot separate ourselves from the ecosystems that sustain us, the United States cannot afford to isolate itself from the global push for 30x30.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our destruction of nature into stark relief—and also highlighted how interconnected we are across borders and oceans. Yesterday, 64 leaders from a diverse array of nations came together to mobilize their economies and public policy to seize this window of opportunity to save the natural world. The United States should be leading this charge. I remain optimistic that a bipartisan majority of the American people and a bipartisan majority in Congress are deeply committed to the United States’ global conservation leadership. It’s a shame to see our government abdicate its position of global leadership at this urgent moment—nature and humanity have no more time to lose.” 

The United Nations officially launched the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature virtually in New York on September 28, 2020, in which world leaders committed to putting biodiversity, nature conservation and climate change at the heart of COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. The announcement also precedes a major UN biodiversity summit which will be virtually hosted on September 30 in New York as part of negotiations on an international Paris-style agreement to protect nature and stave off the impending extinction crisis. 

For more details on Udall’s legislation, S.Res.372, please click here.