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 New Jersey Research and Policy Center

New Report: Extreme Rainstorms and Snowstorms Up 33 Percent in NJ

Just days a series of severe storms ripped through Central Jersey, leading to severe rains and flooding that devastated the town of Freehold, a new Environment New Jersey report confirms that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 33 percent more frequently in New Jersey since 1948.  The Central Jersey storm followed a June 29th storm that brought high winds and rain to Southern Jersey, now considered one of the most destructive and severe thunderstorms in the region’s history.  206,000 people in Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem counties lost power following the June 29th storm.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center

When it Rains, it Pours

Just days a series of severe storms ripped through Central Jersey, leading to severe rains and flooding that devastated the town of Freehold, a new Environment New Jersey report confirms that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 33 percent more frequently in New Jersey since 1948.  The Central Jersey storm followed a June 29th storm that brought high winds and rain to Southern Jersey, now considered one of the most destructive and severe thunderstorms in the region’s history.  206,000 people in Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem counties lost power following the June 29th storm.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New Jersey

Despite Record-Breaking Heat and Numerous Bad Air Days, Gov. Christie Vetoes Clean Air Bill

Gov. Christie has again vetoed a bill to continue New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – originally a 10-state program designed to reduce harmful power plant pollution, make polluters pay for their emissions, and invest those payments in local clean energy programs.

Gov. Christie pulled the state from the program last December.  The New Jersey Legislature, having received over 60,000 public comments in support of the program, has now twice passed legislation (S1322) to keep New Jersey in RGGI.  The program’s main opponent is the Tea Party-affiliated group Americans for Prosperity – a group funded by out of state fossil fuel interests, including the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New Jersey

Charging Forward: : The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption

America’s reliance on gasoline-powered vehicles has long contributed to air pollution, including global warming emissions, and our nation’s dependence
on oil. In the past decade, however, the automobile market has begun to change, integrating new technologies that are dramatically less dependent on gasoline.
Electric vehicles have arrived and will provide extensive environmental benefits. Increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road will yield even greater cuts in pollution and oil use.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New Jersey

A Record of Leadership

Over the last decade, northeastern states have built a track record of successful action to reduce global warming pollution. By working together
across state lines and partisan divides—and developing innovative new policies to hasten the transition to a clean energy economy—the Northeast has succeeded in
cutting emissions while safeguarding the region’s economic health.
Between 2000 and 2009, the 10 northeastern states1 that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cut per capita carbon dioxide

> Keep Reading

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