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

As Emissions in Northeast States Decline, Economic Growth Outpaces Nation

A new report by Environment New Jersey released today highlights the role that clean energy and environmental policies have played in moving states toward meeting targets for reducing global warming emissions, while challenging claims that actions that reduce emissions undermine economic growth.  

According to “A Record of Leadership: How Northeastern States are Cutting Global Warming Pollution and Building a Clean Economy,” New Jersey and the 9 other states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have cut per capita carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation, even as the region’s gross product per capita grew 87 percent faster than the rest of the United States. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New Jersey

In the Path of the Storm

With extreme weather events increasingly common in New Jersey and across the United States, Environment New Jersey released a new report.  The report documents extreme weather events in every county in New Jersey, and discusses the likely consequences of future disasters as a result of a warming world.

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

Benefits of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

In 2005, New Jersey joined nine other Northeastern states in a landmark agreement to limit global warming pollution from the region’s power plants. This agreement, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), is designed to clean up pollution from power plants while fueling the transition to a clean energy economy. New Jersey has benefited from RGGI through the investment of funds from the sale of pollution allowances in clean energy projects—projects that are cutting pollution, benefiting energy consumers and creating new economic opportunities. 

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

America on the Move

The impact of state-level actions to reduce global warming pollution is significant on a global scale.

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

An Unfamiliar State: Local Impacts of Global Warming in New Jersey

Global warming poses a serious threat to the future of New Jersey’s environment, economy, and the health and welfare of its citizens.

Global warming will impact every corner of the state. If global warming pollution across the world continues to rise, New Jersey will be a different place in 100 years, with an altered coastline, greater extremes of rainfall and drought, higher levels of smog in parts of the state, and shifts in the plant and animal species that call New Jersey home.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed