U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an Executive Order that, in part, commits the country to taking bold steps regarding environmental conservation.
“The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis,” the Executive Order reads. “We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents. Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership.”
As part of the Executive Order, President Biden tasked his Secretary of the Interior with drafting next steps to “achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”
That objective — protecting 30% of the planet by 2030 — the ambition of a coalition co-chaired by Costa Rica, France and the United Kingdom. Some 50 countries have already signed onto the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, citing its environmental and economic benefits.
Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado celebrated the United States’ apparent endorsement of the coalition on Wednesday afternoon.
“With great joy, we congratulate [President Biden] on his Executive Order to protect 30% of the lands and oceans by 2030,” President Alvarado wrote on social media. “On behalf of Costa Rica, we will continue to promote this effort in order to maintain a high ambition for people and nature, directing our focus to the 30×30 goal.”
U.S. leaders had been absent from the “One Planet Summitt,” which was held before Biden’s inauguration.
Speaking about the coalition, Andrea Meza, Costa Rica’s Environment Minister minister, the pandemic has demonstrated that government action can have “immediate results.”
“Protecting 30% of the planet will undoubtedly improve the quality of life of our citizens, and help us achieve a fair, decarbonized and resilient society,” Meza said.