Global Warming Solutions

“We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.”

- Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee

The last generation

Years ago, many of us thought of global warming as something that would happen “someday.” As it turns out, “someday” is right now.

Since 2001, we’ve experienced 15 of the 16 warmest years on record — including 2015, the hottest year ever recorded. As the oceans warm, we’re learning that it’s no longer a question of if the Antarctic ice sheet will melt, but how fast.

We’re fast approaching the point when scientists say climate change could tip toward catastrophe, with sea levels rising faster along our coasts, storms growing more powerful, and droughts and other forms of extreme weather more disruptive.

Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky/Bigstock

Of course, nobody wants to leave the next generation a world where heat waves, floods, droughts and worse are everyday events in an increasingly dangerous world.

If we accept, as we must, the broad scientific consensus that human pollution is accelerating these changes, then this is our challenge: stop putting carbon into the atmosphere, increase our energy efficiency, and repower our society with clean, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

The good news is that solutions like solar, wind and energy efficiency not only reduce carbon pollution. They also clean up our air, reduce asthma attacks, and promote energy independence.

 

Credit: Mavrick/Shutterstock

The Clean Power Plan

In Washington, D.C., President Obama has demonstrated strong leadership on this issue. For example, in June 2014 he moved forward with what The New York Times called “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

The president’s Clean Power Plan would limit — for the first time ever — carbon pollution from dirty power plants.

Why power plants? The country’s more than 500 coal-fired power plants are America’s No. 1 source of global warming pollution — even bigger than cars and trucks.

In fact, the Clean Power Plan would cut this pollution at least 30 percent by the end of the next decade. By giving the states the option to replace dirty coal plants with wind, solar and energy efficiency, it also has the potential to speed the shift to clean power. And the plan is an essential part of the success of the Paris Agreement, the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, which was signed by 195 countries in December 2015.

Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

More than 8 million supporters

A recent poll shows that 2/3 of all Americans back the Clean Power Plan. Americans have submitted more than 8 million comments asking the EPA to take action on the issue. More than 600,000 of these comments have come from our members and supporters.

Unfortunately, in February 2016, the Supreme Court delivered a major blow to climate action, announcing it will put the Clean Power Plan on hold while it hears lawsuits from polluters and their allies who want to kill the plan. This decision is a huge loss for our kids’ future and for all Americans who care about the health of our planet. 

The actions the United States has taken to date are necessary — but not yet sufficient — to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. In order to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C (3.6°F) — the international consensus target for preventing the worst consequences of warming — the U.S. must cut emissions at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by mid-century.

Leaders at all levels of government across the United States must follow through with existing commitments to reduce pollution. Leaders at all levels of government should identify and pursue new policies to cut pollution. And the U.S. must play a leadership role in the global movement to limit global warming.

Credit: Staff

Protect our children's future

As Gov. Inslee pointed out, global warming is the challenge of our generation.

Protecting our children’s future requires us to stop dumping carbon into our atmosphere, and there’s no better place to start than with America’s No. 1 global warming polluters. 

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Renewable Energy 101 Highlights Clean Energy Leadership at Georgia Colleges

Atlanta, GA— Environment Georgia  released today “Renewable Energy 101”which details the ten major tools universities, local governments and the state could use to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy. The report presents examples from campuses across the state in categories such as recycling, energy efficiency, energy conservation, transportation and the implementation of renewable energies like geothermal and solar. 

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News Release | Environment Georgia

Clean Energy Wins on Election Day in Athens

Athens, GA--With 78.43% of voters in support, the Athens-Clarke County SPLOST package was overwhelming passed last night. Passage will allow Athens-Clarke Co. to move forward with a plan that will collect roughly $313 million over the next 11 years from a 1 cent sales tax increase. Included in the package presented to voters was over $15 million dollars for the local government to spend on energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy like rooftop solar. 

 

 

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News Release | Environment Georgia

Georgia Mayors Join National Coalition to Call for a Solar Energy Future

Decatur, Georgia - Georgia mayors representing 5 cities across our state have joined a list of over 300 cities across the U.S. in signing on to a letter calling for a future powered by more clean renewable solar power, released today by Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. The group of “Mayors for Solar Energy” committed to this cause is bipartisan and represents cities of all sizes spanning all 50 states. 

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Blog Post

Climate Solutions Now | Andrea McGimsey

When Oxford Dictionaries chooses “climate emergency” as the word of the year for 2019, you know things are changing. Our children are inheriting a world vastly different and more dangerous than the one we grew up in, and we need to act on climate now. 

When Oxford Dictionaries chooses “climate emergency” as the word of the year for 2019, you know things are changing. Our children are inheriting a world vastly different and more dangerous than the one we grew up in, and we need to act on climate now. 

Yet as world leaders meet in Madrid this week to discuss progress towards cutting global warming pollution and hitting the targets of the historic international Paris Agreement, President Trump has vowed to pull our country out. 

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News Release | Environment Georgia

Environment Georgia Testifies: Stop the Electric Fee Hike

Atlanta, GA--Environment Georgia’s Clean Energy Fellow, Channa Childs, testified during the Georgia Public Service Commissions rate case hearings this week. The hearings will decide what a requested Georgia Power rate increase would look like. Georgia Power Company has asked to raise the mandatory minimum fee from $10 to roughly $18. This will net Georgia Power millions more and cost Georgians at least $215 a year before they flip their light switch on. 

Ms. Childs’ testimony is below and the petition that was delivered can be found here.

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