Newsroom

A Voice for Our Ocean

Ocean Conservancy Applauds Alaska Climate Change Policy and Action Plan

Kivalina_ShoreZone
The Alaskan village of Kivalina faces coastal erosion. © Shore Zone (Flickr via CC BY 2.0)

Anchorage – The following statement was issued by Michael LeVine (@MikeLeVine_AK), Senior Arctic Fellow at Ocean Conservancy, in reaction to the recommended Alaska Climate Change Policy and Action Plan released on September 26, 2018:

“Ocean Conservancy applauds the work of the Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team and the direction and leadership of Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Mallott. The recommended Alaska Climate Change Policy and Action Plan are significant steps forward to address the causes and effects of climate change in Alaska.

“As the only Arctic state, Alaska is witnessing the effects of climate change more rapidly than other places. Communities are being forced to relocate, commercial and subsistence harvests are becoming less predictable and more difficult, and the impacts of storms are becoming more severe. In our ocean, we are seeing dramatic declines in sea ice, warming waters, and threats from ocean acidification.

“The science is very clear that emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels are the root cause of these changes. The Leadership Team recommendations rightfully focus on research and monitoring, community resilience and adaptation, economic diversification, education, funding, and a transition to renewable sources of energy.

“The recommended Alaska Climate Change Policy and Action Plan reflect a commitment to address the devastating threats posed by climate change and to seize the leadership opportunities that are created. In crafting the recommended Policy and Action Plan, the Leadership Team drew from the diverse background of its members, the significant public input that was received, and advice from technical experts.

“Ocean Conservancy was honored to be part of a team of Alaskans working on a uniquely Alaskan approach to the challenges and opportunities we face as climate change affects our communities, economies, ecosystems, and ways of life.

“It is clear that bold action and unwavering commitment are required. We hope that our state leaders will meet that challenge and work to implement the recommended policy and actions. Ocean Conservancy stands ready to help build on the strong foundation crafted by the Leadership Team and to work with the state and others to ensure that Alaska’s people, rich natural resources and unique way of life are sustained into the future.”

###

Michael LeVine is available for interviews at mlevine@oceanconservancy.org, +1 907.744.5972.

NOTES TO EDITOR

  • The recommended Alaska Climate Change Policy and Action Plan will be released on September 26, 2018. The documents and transmittal letter from the Leadership Team will be available at http://climatechange.gov.alaska.gov/.
  • In October 2017, Governor Bill Walker issued an Administrative Order to “establish the Alaska Climate Change Strategy and the Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team to advise the Governor on critical and timely actions to address climate change challenges that will safeguard Alaska now and for future generations.” Ocean Conservancy’s Michael LeVine serves on the Leadership Team.