For Immediate Release
WWF Provides Presidential Candidates Roadmap to a Safer, Sustainable Future
'Greenprint' Agenda Outlines Conservation, Foreign Aid Strategy for Next Administration
WASHINGTON - On the day of the third and final presidential debate, World
Wildlife Fund (WWF) has publicly released its "Greenprint" agenda - a
policy roadmap for the next administration to address global threats to
environmental, social and political stability in four key areas:
climate change, conservation of natural resources, food security and
freshwater availability. The WWF Greenprint highlights how these
challenges are intertwined, and how they can - and should - be solved
by the next President.
"In our conservation work around the
world, WWF has long recognized the connection between political
stability, regional security and natural resource use," said Carter
Roberts, president and CEO of WWF. "These issues are now taking center
stage in the form of climate change, energy independence, and national
Roberts added: "Global consumption of natural
resources far exceeds the Earth's regenerative capacity. We are
borrowing from our natural capital at an entirely unsustainable rate.
And, as is evidenced from the current economic crisis, unsustainable
borrowing is not without profound consequences. To raise the stakes
even further, there can be no bailout if the Earth's systems collapse."
WWF Greenprint has been provided to Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and
Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and their campaign staffs. It outlines specific
policy initiatives that would reduce threats to global peace and
security by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and establishing
preparedness measures for dealing with the impacts of climate change,
ensuring plentiful food and clean water for people around the world,
and retooling the U.S. government's Cold War-era foreign assistance
program to ensure more sustainable use of the world's natural resources.
is in America's long-term strategic interest," said Bruce Babbitt,
chairman of WWF's Board of Directors and former secretary of the
Interior Department in the Clinton Administration. "Responsible and
sustainable resource management is critical not just to protecting
nature, but to avoiding conflict, alleviating poverty and promoting
stability around the world."
William Reilly, former WWF chairman
and current member of WWF's Board of Directors and former administrator
of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W.
Bush, added: "The next administration will face daunting challenges on
all fronts. Climate change is melting the Arctic, fueling deadlier
storms, diminishing the availability of food and water, and threatening
geopolitical instability on a scale never before witnessed. The WWF
Greenprint outlines a clear path for slowing climate change and
preparing the world for its impacts."
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The WWF Greenprint, which is available at www.worldwildlife.org/greenprint,
is divided into four parts: climate change, food security, freshwater
availability and natural resource protection and management. On climate
change, it recommends that the next administration play a constructive
role in international negotiations on a new climate treaty, curb
deforestation which accounts for nearly 20 percent of global annual
greenhouse gas emissions, propose domestic legislation to establish a
cap and trade program for greenhouse gases and develop a preparedness
strategy for confronting the impacts of climate change.
security, it recommends the development of performance-based standards
for biofuels to ensure fuel supplies don't diminish food supplies, and
it urges an overhaul of management policies to restore the health of
the world's declining fisheries - a primary source of protein for more
than 1 billion of the world's poor. Further, it states that freshwater
availability should be a strategic priority for the U.S. and urges the
next administration to lay the scientific and policy groundwork for
global water security.
To ensure sustainable management of
natural resources, the WWF Greenprint states that America's Cold
War-era foreign assistance programs should be restructured to better
integrate conservation and sustainability into the framework. It
further urges renewed investment in natural assets and a stronger
engagement with China, which is rapidly developing at a rate that is
stressing the world's natural resource capacity.
"There is still
time to manage our way out of this crisis, but the clock is ticking,"
said Roberts. "We need to start now, for decisions deferred today will
be far harder and costlier for our children to make tomorrow."
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WWF is the world's largest conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.