The Department of the Interior plays a central role in how the United States stewards its public lands, increases environmental protections, pursues environmental justice, and honors our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes.
Our mandate from President Biden is clear: we must address the four intersecting challenges of COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.
We have no time to waste in taking action to protect public lands, the environment and Americans’ lives and futures. Interior is ready to take the bold action desperately needed to ensure all communities — including communities of color and urban, rural, and Indigenous communities — benefit from an aggressive and whole-of-government response.
To meet the scope of our challenges and the multiple, overlapping crises, we are:
- Identifying steps to accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters. We are investing in climate research and environmental innovation to incentivize the rapid deployment of clean energy solutions, while reviewing existing programs to restore balance on America’s public lands and waters to benefit current and future generations.
- Strengthening the government-to-government relationship with sovereign Tribal Nations. We understand that Tribal sovereignty and self-governance, as well as honoring the federal trust responsibility to Tribal Nations, must be the cornerstones of federal Indian policy.
- Making investments to support the Administration’s goal of creating millions of family-supporting and union jobs. This includes establishing a new Climate Conservation Corps Initiative to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation, and addressing the changing climate.
- Working to conserve at least 30% each of our lands and waters by the year 2030. We will work to protect biodiversity, slow extinction rates and help leverage natural climate solutions by conserving 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030. This relies on support for local, state, private, and Tribally-led nature conservation and restoration efforts that are underway across America.
- Centering equity and environmental justice. The impacts of the multiple crises in the United States are not evenly distributed in our society. Communities of color, low-income families, and rural and Indigenous communities have long suffered disproportionate and cumulative harm from air pollution, water pollution, and toxic sites. At every step of the way, Interior will engage diverse stakeholders across the country, as well as conduct formal consultation with Tribes in recognition of the U.S. government’s trust responsibilities.