Yellow-throated Warbler Photo: Brian Stack/Audubon Photography Awards
Yellow-throated Warbler Photo: Brian Stack/Audubon Photography Awards

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New “Trillion Trees” Bill in Senate will Protect Birds While Making Progress on Climate Change

An alternative to earlier legislation from the House, the new bill supports natural solutions to climate change while preserving environmental protections.

WASHINGTON (December 9, 2020) – A Senate version of the “Trillion Trees” bill that was introduced today is a bipartisan effort to invest in natural resources to combat the effects of climate change while protecting wildlife and the environment.

“While our forests provide a habitat for the birds we love, they do so much more for the survival of our planet,” said Michael Obeiter, senior director of federal climate strategy at the National Audubon Society. “Trees, as well as other existing natural resources, provide some of the first lines of defense against pollution that contributes to climate change. By investing in our forests, we’re also investing in our future.”

The bill was introduced today by Senators Braun (R-IN), Coons (D-DE), Young (R-IN), and King (I-ME) as an alternative to a similarly named House bill that was introduced in February. The new bill maintains existing environmental protections and review for logging on priority lands, and establishes funding mechanisms for reforestation on private lands. Both the House and the Senate bills prioritized the planting of trees as a means of naturally reducing harmful carbon emissions that contribute to rising global temperatures, though the Senate bill will measure success by the amount of carbon removed from the atmosphere and stored in the forest, rather than just measuring the number of trees planted.

A 2019 report from the National Audubon Society found that two-thirds of bird species in North America will be vulnerable to extinction if global temperatures continue to rise at current rates. Holding temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius will improve the chance of survival for a majority of the birds at risk.

“While it’s true that reforms to other sectors like electricity, transportation, and industry will play a critical role in addressing climate change, we must not forget that important gains can be made through natural solutions like climate-smart forestry,” said Obeiter. “We thank Senators Braun, Coons, Young, and King for introducing this bill, which can have a tangible and positive impact for both birds and people in the fight against climate change.”  

About Audubon Great Lakes
Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at gl.audubon.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

Media Contact: Emily Osborne, emily.osborne@audubon.org

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