Press Release Dec 15, 2020

Climate Change Biggest Threat Facing National Parks; NPCA Supports Selection of Gina McCarthy for Domestic Climate Advisor

“With our public lands and waterways at the forefront of the climate crisis, they offer one of our country’s best defenses for addressing these threats. Protecting, restoring and preserving them is key to combating it." -- NPCA President and CEO Theresa Pierno

Washington, D.C. – With several media outlets reporting that President-Elect Biden will tap Gina McCarthy for Domestic Climate Advisor, below is the National Park Conservation Association’s statement of support for Ms. McCarthy’s selection.

For four years, the Trump administration’s policies have prioritized industry interest, gutting protections that protect the health of our communities and national parks from the growing threats of climate change. More than one hundred environmental safeguards have been rolled back including eliminating science-driven policy and planning for how to protect our national parks, public lands and waters from devastating sea-level rise, wildfires, drought, poor air quality and other impacts linked to climate change. President-Elect Biden has run on a platform prioritizing action on climate change by following science, upholding bedrock environmental protections and centering on the needs of the most affected communities. NPCA stands ready to support and advance swift action and climate solutions to safeguard our national parks and the natural, cultural and historic values they hold.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association

“Nearly everything we know and love about our parks is impacted by climate change. Iconic plants and animals are on the brink of extinction. Lakes and rivers are drying up, glaciers are melting, beaches are eroding, and historic structures are crumbling. Our parks are warming twice as fast as the rest of the country putting park visitors, wildlife, irreplaceable landscapes, and cultural artifacts in jeopardy.

“With our public lands and waterways at the forefront of the climate crisis, they offer one of our country’s best defenses for addressing these threats. Protecting, restoring and preserving them is key to combating it.

“Should she be selected, we support Gina McCarthy for Domestic Climate Advisor. Ms. McCarthy’s experience as former EPA Administrator helped establish the first-ever greenhouse gas rules for power plants and oil and gas operations and set the strongest rules to combat public health and park harming ozone pollutants. Her strong leadership and proven track-record makes her well-suited to lead one of the most challenging issues of our time.

“As Domestic Climate Advisor, Ms. McCarthy must be empowered to push for systemic change across all agencies to advance strong, equitable and just policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that hit vulnerable communities the hardest. She must look to our national parks as solutions for battling the climate crisis and make them stronger and more resilient for future generations. She can provide leadership and guidance to our nation’s resource management agencies to restore and support sound-science to drive policy decisions urging immediate action on climate. These policies will provide sweeping benefits to our parks and beyond with initiatives like 30x30, which aims to protect 30 percent of our land and oceans by 2030, phasing out fossil fuels and supporting renewable alternatives.

“With the majority of Americans identifying climate change of great concern, we look forward to working with the Biden administration to address it with clear solutions – starting with our parks.”


About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.4 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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