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Infrastructure and Water Strong infrastructure can ensure clean water and climate solutions. © Randy Olson

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Climate and Nature-Based Solutions Get House Approval

Legislation emphasize natural infrastructure, emission reductions, water access

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation that would significantly invest in nature-based solutions for the nation’s transportation and water infrastructure needs while beginning to address the transportation sector’s role in climate change.

The legislation, which includes surface transportation and water infrastructure provisions passed out of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last month, places an emphasis on reducing carbon pollution, investing in natural infrastructure and improving the health of communities and nature alike.

The surface transportation provisions would leverage nature-based solutions to improve the resiliency of the nation’s roads. They also seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation system by orienting planning and investments toward low- or zero-emissions transportation projects, expanding electric vehicle and alternative fuel infrastructure, and investing significantly in public transit. In addition, the bill calls for expanding wildlife crossings to reduce vehicle impacts.

The legislation approved by the House today represents a significant step for reducing transportation emissions and leveraging the power of nature to address the nation's infrastructure challenges.

TNC's Director of North American Policy and Government Relations

The water infrastructure provisions would help communities manage their stormwater and wastewater challenges as well as expand access to clean drinking water. Funding would prioritize small, underserved and tribal communities. They also increase funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and set aside a significant portion of that funding for green infrastructure.

The following is a statement by Kameran Onley, director of North American policy and government relations at The Nature Conservancy:

“The legislation approved by the House today represents a significant step for reducing transportation emissions and leveraging the power of nature to address the nation's infrastructure challenges. The climate and nature-focused provisions of these bills will help improve the health and resiliency of communities and the environment alike.

“The growing threats of a changing climate and the deteriorating state of the nation's infrastructure demand innovative approaches to modernizing our infrastructure by making it cleaner, more resilient and more efficient. Investing in solutions that promote the role of nature and address the causes of climate change is a cost-effective, proven strategy, one that will create jobs and boost local economies. We commend the House for advancing the legislation and urge representatives to work with their Senate colleagues on legislation that can be signed into law so these investments can happen as soon as possible.”

Part of the Senate’s transportation proposal passed out of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in May.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.