Energy and Environment

Conservation Policy

We work to protect our lands, waters, ocean, and wildlife to address the linked climate and biodiversity crises. This work helps to ensure that all people can access and benefit from nature and that conservation and climate investments build a resilient, just, and inclusive economy.

Bald eagles fishing in China Poot Bay, Alaska. (Getty/Louise Heusinkveld/Photodisc)

What We're Doing

Conserve 30 percent of lands, waters, and ocean by 2030

“30×30” is a science-backed goal to address the linked climate and biodiversity crises by conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and oceans by 2030. We work with a diverse coalition to achieve on-the-ground protections that benefit nature, the climate, and communities.

Move toward pollution-free public lands and waters

Despite the climate crisis, the oil and gas lobby continues to push for more drilling on public lands and waters. We advocate for energy policy reform and a just transition so that the land, water, and ocean shared by all communities can be used for the common good.

Confront racial and economic disparities in access to nature

People of color and low-income communities disproportionately lack access to nature and bear the impacts of its destruction. We work with front-line communities to advocate for policies that right historical wrongs and affirm Indigenous leadership and tribal sovereignty.

Advocate for nature-based solutions to the climate crisis

We cannot stabilize the climate without increasing protections for nature. One of the most effective strategies for mitigating climate change is to protect and restore more land and water. We work toward policies that connect climate action and nature-based solutions.

The Conservation Policy team works to protect our lands, waters, ocean, and wildlife to address the linked climate and biodiversity crises, boost the economy, and benefit all.

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Recent Work

Latest

Compact View

The Agenda of the 118th Congress’ Antiparks Caucus Article
A view of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, with downtown Los Angeles visible in the background.

The Agenda of the 118th Congress’ Antiparks Caucus

A new CAP analysis identifies the latest congressional antiparks caucus and their wide targeted agenda to dismantle America’s most beloved public lands.

Sam Zeno

State Leadership To Conserve Nature Past Event

State Leadership To Conserve Nature

Join the Center for American Progress and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators for a discussion with state leaders about conservation policy successes.

Beyond 30×30: Global Ocean Conservation Quality Is Lagging Behind Quantity Article
A green sea turtle swims among the corals of Lady Elliot Island.

Beyond 30×30: Global Ocean Conservation Quality Is Lagging Behind Quantity

The international community’s commitment to protect at least 30 percent of our ocean by 2030—a goal known as “30x30”—is both inspiring and challenging; but this effort must go beyond mere numbers and strive for quality, effectiveness, and holistic conservation.

Angelo Villagomez

5 Early Takeaways From the Biden Administration’s Conservation Atlas Article
People view the sunset from a proposed expansion area of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

5 Early Takeaways From the Biden Administration’s Conservation Atlas

The Biden administration has released long-awaited metrics for U.S. land and water conservation that show national progress made toward ambitious “30x30” goals; but there’s also a deeper story to explore about the path ahead for ocean and land protection as well as the value and limits of numeric targets.

Dreaming of a Protected Ocean In the News

Dreaming of a Protected Ocean

In the spring 2024 issue of the Smithsonian's American Indian magazine, Angelo Villagomez draws on personal memories growing up on Saipan to describe how his culture, heritage, and family continue to inform his approach to conservation advocacy today.

American Indian magazine

Angelo Villagomez

The Biden Administration Can Deliver on Ocean Conservation Promises Made by the Bush and Obama Administrations Article

The Biden Administration Can Deliver on Ocean Conservation Promises Made by the Bush and Obama Administrations

Publishing final management plans for three marine monuments that have languished in bureaucratic limbo for as many as 15 years would deliver effective management for nearly half the protected waters in the United States.

Angelo Villagomez, Beth Pike, Laurie Peterka, 1 More Jen Felt

The Biden Administration Has Reached Conservation Records in 2023 Article
U.S. President Joe Biden walks to sign a proclamation to designate Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni - Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.

The Biden Administration Has Reached Conservation Records in 2023

After three years in office, it is clear that the Biden administration is safeguarding public lands at a record rate; in the coming year, it must continue its conservation progress through community-led, justice-centered landscape protections.

Sam Zeno

The Biden Administration’s Opportunity To Protect the Brooks Range From Unnecessary Mining via Ambler Road Article
Photo shows an aerial view of a mountain range, mostly bare with no trees, against a grey, cloudy sky. A serpentine river snakes through the valleys between the mountains.

The Biden Administration’s Opportunity To Protect the Brooks Range From Unnecessary Mining via Ambler Road

President Joe Biden has the opportunity to safeguard the ecologically sensitive lands of the Brooks Range in northwest Alaska from the threat of Ambler Road—a destructive path to a speculative mine that local communities have loudly opposed.

Sam Zeno

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