Governors from 15 states are sounding the alarm over an executive order issued by President Joe Biden tasking his administration to “conserve” 30% of all land and water in the U.S. by 2030.
Known as the “30 x 30 plan,” the directive is part of a United Nations Agenda 2030 land and sustainable development goal, which directs nations to conserve land and water to combat climate change.
Biden refers to the policy as part of the United State’s acceptance of rejoining the Paris Agreement, a deal former President Donald Trump pulled out of.
The United Nations goal is to globally “get to a 2° C stabilization pathway and deliver climate-change resilient landscapes” by conserving land and water usage. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification argues by conserving land and water the remaining emissions gap could be closed by up to 25% and reduce the risks posed by climate change. The best way to do this, according to the plan, is for governments to control land, not private landowners.
Biden’s executive order, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” involves a multi-federal agency approach.
Currently, the Biden administration considers roughly 12% of land and water in the U.S. to be “in conservation.” It includes wilderness lands, national parks, national wildlife refuges, state parks, national monuments, and private lands with permanent conservation easements. More than doubling this acreage to 30% is equivalent to “conserving” the geographical size of Nebraska every year for nine years, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, argues.
Ricketts leads a group of Republican governors from the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah in opposition to the plan.