A win for climate action in the USA
The Biden administration's decision to interrupt seven oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic national wildlife refuge will preserve the area's natural environment and represents a significant step in the US's Net Zero Action plan
After having signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022, which is the most ambitious and potentially impactful climate policy in US history, few days ago Biden’s administration canceled seven oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic national wildlife refuge. This is certainly a concrete action supporting the 13th Sustainable Development Goal: Climate Action.
Furthermore, the United States might thus reduce the existing gap between climate policy and climate action. According to the latest evaluation by Climate Tracker, in fact, the US is rated insufficient in the implementation of policies towards the net zero target.
The signature is also a success for the rights of the Gwich’in, indigenous people who see the Arctic national wildlife refuge as sacred because it is where the caribou, which they rely on, migrate to and come to give birth. The voice of an indigenous people this time does not go unheard. This shows how the realization of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to land, territories and resources also means the safeguard of nature and of the resources of the planet.
In this respect, the FAO is urging countries to protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights as an avenue to achieve the SDG 16 or peaceful, just, and inclusive societies and certainly climate action will benefit, too.