On Earth Day, President Biden signed an Executive Order to expand his Administration’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis, conserve biodiversity, bolster defence against extreme weather and strengthen local economies.
The Executive Order fundamentally recognises the value that we receive from the natural world and the urgent need to identify solutions that mitigate climate change, protect and restore nature, safeguard cultural heritage and deliver thriving and resilient livelihoods and economies.
Included in the Order is key guidance for agencies to identify and measure the value of nature.
The Office of Management and Budget will issue valuation guidance to help agencies better account for services provided by ecosystems and the environment (such as pollination, pollution removal and water filtration). In support, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Commerce will continue leading an interagency initiative to improve and update baseline information on the economic value of existing natural assets and new nature-based solutions.
The first U.S. National Nature Assessment was also announced.
The United States currently lacks comprehensive knowledge of the state of the nation’s lands, waters, and wildlife and the specific benefits that they provide. To create this comprehensive picture, the 13-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program will develop the first-ever assessment of the condition of nature within the United States. The assessment will also allow policymakers to look ahead at how nature might change in the future and to identify opportunities for investments in nature to help achieve climate, health, environmental justice, and economic goals.