STATEMENT: IPCC Report Underscores Need for a Far More Ambitious Conservation Agenda in the United States

Washington, D.C. — In response to a new special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate change and land use, Matt Lee-Ashley, senior fellow and senior director of Environmental Strategy and Communications at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

This IPCC report signals in flashing red lights that we need to take far better care of our forests, wetlands, grasslands, and natural places. With a football field’s worth of America’s natural areas disappearing to development every 30 seconds, policymakers must step up local and national conservation efforts and do so in a way that meets the needs of every community in the United States. Protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and oceans by 2030, as recommended by scientists, would not only safeguard America’s drinking water supplies and wildlife, but also reduce carbon pollution and protect communities from the impacts of climate change. With overwhelming and bipartisan majorities of voters wanting better protections for America’s outdoors, conserving nature is a climate solution on which every politician should be able to agree.

Related resource:How Much Nature Should America Keep?” by Matt Lee-Ashley, the CAP Public Lands team, and the CAP Oceans team

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Zachary Drennen at or 202-741-6372.