Global Warming Solutions
We’ve taken significant steps to make sure we leave kids growing up today a cleaner, healthier planet. We refuse to let environmental progress stop—not when the reality of climate change demands we move quickly toward a 100% renewable energy economy.
The last generation
“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
Years ago, many of us thought of global warming as something that would happen “someday.” As it turns out, “someday” is now.
Since 2000, we’ve experienced 16 of the 17 warmest years on record — including 2016, 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, and storms growing more powerful, and droughts and other forms of extreme weather more disruptive.
A two-part challenge
Nobody, of course, wants to leave the next generation a world where heat waves, floods, droughts and worse are the “new normal,” everyday events in an increasingly dangerous world.
If we accept, as we must, the broad scientific consensus that our pollution is accelerating these changes, then this is our challenge: to stop putting carbon into our air, and to repower our society with clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.
The good news is that solutions like solar, wind and efficiency not only reduce carbon pollution. They also clean up our air, reduce asthma attacks, and promote energy independence.
The Clean Power Plan
Over the past eight years, we’ve made significant progress to reduce global warming pollution and to make sure we leave kids growing up today a cleaner, healthier planet.
For example, in June 2014 President Obama moved forward with what The New York Times called “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”
His plan is called the Clean Power Plan and it 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 #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 building block to the success of the president’s climate deal with China — which is itself the cornerstone to a broader global agreement.
More than 8 million supporters
A recent poll shows that 2/3 of all Americans back the idea. Americans 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, some members of Congress — including backers of the fossil fuel industry and those who still deny the overwhelming science behind climate change — have vowed to do everything in their power to block the plan.
What can and must we do to see that the Clean Power Plan remains in place?
First, in Congress, we must persuade enough representatives and senators to defend the Clean Power Plan and other necessary protections from repeal and rollback.
Second, outside of Washington, we must persuade both Republican and Democratic governors who support clean energy to stand behind the Clean Power Plan — and thereby signal to Congress and the courts that blocking this plan will be politically unpopular.
Third, we must keep showing all of these officials that local leaders and the public are with us and willing to speak out on this issue — because we know when the public leads, our leaders will, eventually, follow.
Protect our children's future
That’s what happened when we helped mobilize public opinion and support to turn back attacks on solar in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and won new commitments to solar in Austin and Houston, Athens and Atlanta, and New York State and California, among other places. Over the last 10 years, we’ve helped establish dozens of pro-solar programs, including the biggest: California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative.
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 #1 global warming polluters.
The president and his administration are moving to undo the Clean Power Plan.
- Climate Can't Wait: Northeast Leadership Campaign
- 2016 was officially the hottest year on record. We need to do much more to tackle the climate crisis and eliminate the pollution that causes global warming.
- This means shifting away from dirty fuels like coal, oil and gas and towards 100 percent renewable energy.
- The northeast is already a leader in cutting global warming pollution. Together, nine states came together to create America’s most successful clean air and climate protection program, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
- Over the past decade, this program has helped cut power plant pollution in half and invested $2.5 billion in clean energy programs across the region.
- The way RGGI creates these benefits is ingenious: it’s a system that ratchets down emissions each year and makes polluters pay to pollute. That revenue is then invested in clean energy and energy efficiency, which has led to healthier communities and thriving economies.