Global Warming Solutions
If we want to spare our children and grandchildren the worst consequences of global warming, we must dramatically reduce the carbon pollution that we pump into the atmosphere. And, as most scientists agree, we better do it soon. We need Washington to do much more, but we also need to build on our successes at the state and local level.
The Consequences? Severe storms, drought and more
Global warming is the one of the most profound threats of our time — and we’re starting to feel the effects. In recent years, stronger more frequent extreme weather events, like Hurricane Sandy. Meanwhile, we've also seen devastative wildfires across the west and severe flooding and droughts in the midwest.
Extreme weather could become “the new normal” as global warming wreaks havoc on our climate. Read our report, "In the Path of the Storm," to learn more. Global warming also threatens to drive many species to extinction, and threatens our health with dirtier air, especially in our cities.
These dangers are cause for immediate action, but too often our elected officials drag their feet and give into the lobbying efforts of Big Oil, utilities and the coal companies.
Still, there are clear opportunities to do what is necessary right now to protect future generations.
Cleaning up the largest polluters and advancing clean energy solutions
Here in New England, we've lead the way by adopting much needed carbon-curbing policies through our landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The program, which took effect in 2009, has succeeded in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrating the effectiveness of cap-and-trade as a global warming solution while helping to sustain a growing regional economy. Just this May, the New Hampshire Senate passed a bill to authorize continued involvement in RGGI, stricter limits will lead to a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions over the next deacade. Clean technologies like wind, solar, and energy efficiency are becoming cheaper and more plentiful each year, providing a clean alternative to coal, oil and gas.
Yet coal-fired power plants are still the largest single source of carbon pollution in our country, making up 40 percent of emission nationwide. Our success with RGGI means we have an obligation to lead on tackling global warming and we can't wait around for other states to act on climate.
A new path forward
On June 25, 2013, President Obama announced a historic climate plan that directs the Environmental Protection Agency to set the first-ever carbon pollution standards for new and existing power plants. Since we can’t possibly solve global warming if we fail to clean up the largest source of pollution fueling the problem, this move by President Obama was critical. His plan also called for advancing energy efficiency measures to cut energy waste, increasing support for clean, renewable energy like wind and solar power, and advancing international efforts to tackle global warming.
The president’s speech in June and his sweeping plan came in reaction to millions of Americans raising their voices and asking the president to lead on climate. Now the challenge is to ensure that the strongest pieces of the plan are implemented as quickly as possible.
Thank President Obama for protecting us from mercury pollution.
- Dad's wish President Obama a Happy Father's Day and ask for action on global warming for their kids:
- Average U.S. temperatures have increased by more than 2° Fahrenheit over the last 50 years, and 2012 is expected to be the hottest year on record. Temperatures are projected to rise by as much as an additional 7° F to 11° F on average by the end of the century, should emissions of global warming pollutants continue to increase.
- Dirty power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the country. If the 50 most-polluting U.S. power plants were an independent nation, they would be the seventh-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, behind Germany and ahead of South Korea. Read our report, "America's Dirtiest Power Plants," to find out more.