Transitioning to a Clean Economy

Leading the Charge

From native grasslands to coastal wetlands to bottomland hardwood forests, nature plays a vital role in sequestering carbon and shielding communities from the effects of severe climate-fueled fires, floods, hurricanes, and storms. By centering equity and justice to advance both natural solutions and cleaner sources of energy and industry, the National Wildlife Federation is working to swiftly cut pollution while staving off the worst impacts of climate change that are often felt first and worst by frontline and fence-line communities. 

Our approach supports healthy wildlife and biodiversity for future generations and prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable populations as we transition to a clean economy that has the potential to build wealth among disinvested and marginalized communities.

Shannon heyck-williams Senior Director, Climate Energy Policy, Climate & Environmental Change

Over the past year, our teams have led the charge nationally for innovative and equitable investments in clean power, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation that support carbon-intensive and frontline communities while introducing new labor standards for the clean energy industry. We also have worked with state and federal leaders to advance offshore wind power that benefits people and wildlife alike. 

Our work helped secure the energy-community tax credit in the U.S. Senate infrastructure legislation that would provide added incentive to clean energy developers to choose carbon-intensive regions over relatively clean states, to maximize environmental and jobs benefits in polluted, economically distressed areas. The National Wildlife Federation elevated the direct impacts of the climate crisis, including publishing an interactive report and story map to illustrate how climate change affects wildlife and people across the nation. We are also working with leading experts to advocate for practices and policies to integrate environmental justice mapping and screening tools to identify vulnerable communities in need of the greatest investments. 

40+page guide for
addressing climate
change in national
Scenic drive through Zion National Park, Arpil 2021
Texas Army National Guard aids citizens in areas heavily flooded by the storms of 2017 Hurricane Harvey.
National Park Service Adaptation Guide

The National Wildlife Federation worked with the National Park Service over the past several years to develop a new approach and guide to help NPS manage our national parks in an era of rapid climate change.

Large forest fire with smoke growing large
Rural Electric Cooperatives are Powering Local Climate Action in Hispanic Communities

Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) demonstrated their community-based approach to conservation by convening a conversation to learn how rural electric cooperatives are powering local climate action. This is a demonstration of the work the National Wildlife Federation is committed to increasing, by hearing from frontline community leaders to hear and promote solutions that work for those closest to the problem.

Little boy standing on a gate with a cowboy hat on
Texas Mid-Coast Climate Assessment

The prized and productive wetlands and estuaries of the Texas Mid-Coast require decisive policy interventions to defend against multiple climate-related threats, according to a study published this spring by the National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program. While the report indicates the Texas coast is changing at an accelerating pace, Federation experts outline adaptive solutions such as ecosystem-based investments that could help combat emerging threats and build resilience across the region.

Birds eye view of Madina Lake in Texas
Achieved Critical Army Corps Reforms to Increase Natural Infrastructure

The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 contained multiple policy changes championed by the National Wildlife Federation. Collectively, the reforms provide the Army Corps of Engineers with the tools and authorities needed to improve water resource project planning, prioritize solutions for underserved communities, and enhance the resilience of the nation’s vital natural infrastructure—the rivers, streams, floodplains, and wetlands that provide essential habitat for America’s treasured fish and wildlife. These provisions elevate consideration of nature’s potential to improve the nation’s resilience and level the playing field for use of natural infrastructure to reduce flood and storm damages while protecting and restoring fish and wildlife habitat. The diverse environmental benefits provided by sustainable and cost-effective natural infrastructure can be particularly valuable for underserved communities suffering from impacts such as flooding.

Aerial photo of Fringe Marshes along Powderhorn lake
Hunters and Anglers

Hunters and anglers have a long history of conservation and have passed our sporting traditions down through families and communities over generations. Our traditions are founded in the stewardship of our nation’s lands, water and wildlife. We have hunted and fished our country’s amazing lands and waters for decades. These numerous days afield have earned us a perspective and understanding of what a changing climate means to our wildlife heritage. NWF Outdoors is leading in this space by driving conversations and solutions in the sporting community. We have produced a podcast and film series titled, Vanishing Seasons, and produced an in-depth report, A Hunter’s and Angler’s Guide to Climate Change: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions. These products are designed to incite deeper engagement by hunters and anglers in climate issues. 

Group of fish swimming up river