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

SOLARIZE ATLANTA LAUNCHES

Atlanta, GA—Atlanta’s first community-based solarize program will launch Thursday at Monday Night Brewery’s Garage from 7 to 8:30pm. The launch follows months of work from the Solarize Atlanta Coalition which, after a competitive bid process, chose Creative Solar as the installer for all residential roof projects and Hannah Solar as the installer for all commercial roof installations. After the launch event residential, non-profit and commercial roof owners can go to www.solarizeatl.com to sign-up. People who sign-up will get a free solar evaluation and, if they decide to buy solar, will have access to significantly discounted prices and materials vetted for quality.

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News Release | Environment Georgia

Solarize Atlanta Sets Sign-up Record

Atlanta, GA—A coalition has convened around launching Atlanta’s first community-based Solarize program to encourage solar power adoption through bulk purchasing. The program has already set sign-up records despite being months away from an official launch.  Over 200 potential new solar customers have signed-up on the coalitions website SolarizeAtl.com. The Solarize Atlanta coalition includes non-profits City of Refuge, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, Livable Buckhead the Sierra Club, Southface, and the US Green Building Council (USGBC).   Central Atlanta Progress, as well as Atlanta’s Office of Resiliency and the for-profit Solar Crowdsource, are also coalition members.

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News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

EPA heads in the wrong direction on clean car standards

 

Atlanta, GA -- This week, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to announce a move to significantly weaken America’s clean car standards. Environment Georgia’s fact sheet detailing the history and benefits of Clean Cars Standards is available on Environment Georgia’s website.

Jennette Gayer, Executive Director of Environment Georgia issued the following statement:

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Report

The Benefits of the Clean Cars Standards

The clean car standards are national regulations and incentives for the auto industry designed to reduce pollution from the transportation sector. Since passed in 2012, the standards have saved consumers money, reduced pollution, and spurred innovation.

 

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

As electric cars revolutionize the vehicle market, new study helps cities address infrastructure and parking challenges

With electric vehicles (EVs) hitting U.S. streets in record numbers, a new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group highlights best practices to help local officials make their cities as EV-friendly as possible. The new report, “Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles,” includes local and state data about the projected number of electric cars expected on the road in coming years, and how cities can accommodate these new EVs with enough places to park and recharge.

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