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New International Report Raises Alarm Bells on Climate Change

August 9, 2021
Walton Family Foundation’s Moira Mcdonald: “Climate change becomes crystal clear for most people when viewed through the lens of water.”

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 8, 2021 – Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report showing that temperatures are rising even faster than previously anticipated. The IPCC is comprised of 195 governments and is one of the most credible sources of climate science. The Walton Family Foundation, which works to protect water resources in the era of climate change, issued the following statement:

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Mark Shields
Sr. Communications Officer, Environment Program

“Climate change becomes crystal clear for most people when viewed through the lens of water. Droughts, floods, mega-storms, wildfires, warming oceans, and even having the ability to keep growing crops all make climate change painfully real in everyday life,” said Moira Mcdonald, director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Program. “This report is a wake-up call – there are practical reasons to both take action and still be hopeful.”

She continued, “Natural infrastructure solutions, or working with nature as an ally to solve big problems, can go a long way to making change. Roughly 70 percent of the world’s freshwater is used in food production – sustainable agriculture practices offer a path to feed a hungry planet, take care of farmers’ bottom lines, help sequester carbon, while still protecting soil and water today and for future generations. This is the time, right now, for us to collectively double down on solutions so that nature and people can thrive together.”

Recent polling conducted by the Walton Family Foundation shows that:

  • Most Americans agree (84%) that protecting the health of our water is essential to address climate change.
  • There is also a broad consensus that the U.S. needs to take more action to address climate change.
  • Finally, at a time of deep partisan division, 88% of Democrats, 73% of Independents and 55% of Republicans think humans can take action to reduce the impact of climate change.

In a new discussion paper on the connection between water and climate change, Mcdonald said: “In the coming years, the effects of climate change on water will continue to impact both the natural world and people’s daily lives in profound ways. These changes will affect our agriculture, making it more risky and difficult to grow crops. They will influence our oceans and waterways, changing the composition and movements of aquatic life. They will impact our ability to feed and sustain our communities. As a solutions-oriented philanthropic organization, we have the ability, the opportunity, and the obligation to lay out a workable agenda and fund projects, people, and partners that can serve as a guide for the public and private sectors.”

About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.