Nation’s leading aquariums join forces to tackle climate change

New England Aquarium joins 23 others in pledging to address greenhouse gas emissions

BOSTON, MASS. (April 22, 2022) – Today on Earth Day, 24 members of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership announced their first step in achieving their long-term goal of climate neutrality. Together, these institutions, including the New England Aquarium, will work together to leverage their outstanding legacy of leadership in conservation, science, communication, and education to realize climate solutions.  

Over the course of a year, the Aquarium Conservation Partnership, its members, and expert consultants developed a joint commitment setting ambitious goals toward achieving climate neutrality. The New England Aquarium will benchmark its greenhouse gas emissions, share and implement strategies to reduce emissions, and work towards a net zero contribution to global CO2 emissions.

Climate change is the greatest threat to the future of our planet, our ocean and freshwater systems, and people. For decades, the global ocean has been absorbing more than 90% of the excess heat and nearly a third of the carbon dioxide generated by greenhouse gas emissions. The result is an ocean that is warmer, more acidic, starved of oxygen, and less habitable for fish and marine wildlife. The time for taking action is now, according to the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. While the rate of emissions growth has slowed, in 2010-2019, average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C—a goal set by scientists to avoid the most catastrophic climate change impacts—is beyond reach. 

Participating in this climate commitment places the New England Aquarium among the growing number of businesses and organizations demonstrating both an understanding of the climate crisis and a desire to be a part of the solution. Welcoming millions of visitors and billions of dollars in contributions to the U.S. economy on annual basis, these facilities are home to hundreds of unique research conservation programs. Together, the aquariums have an extensive conservation impact and contribute to collectively understanding our natural world and developing solutions to environmental challenges, including climate change.

“As leaders in conservation, aquariums are expected to walk their talk, and that’s exactly what this partnership is meant to do,” said Aquarium Conservation Partnership Executive Director Kim McIntyre. “We are uniquely qualified to set an example for others—in reducing our carbon footprint, encouraging sustainable operating practices, and inspiring hope in a public that is hungry to be part of the solution.”

“The New England Aquarium has a front-row seat to the impacts of climate change, extending along our waterfront and into the rapidly warming Gulf of Maine. As an ocean conservation organization, waterfront steward, and scientific research institute, we are deeply concerned about the climate crisis and are proud to stand by fellow aquariums in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said New England Aquarium President and CEO Vikki N. Spruill.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Pam Bechtold Snyder – psnyder@neaq.org, 617-686-5068