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 Florida Research & Policy Center

Florida Ranks 3rd for Global Warming Pollution from Power Plants

TAMPA, Fla. – On the heels of increasingly severe weather events, a new report from Environment Florida Research & Policy Center finds that Florida ranks 3rd in the country for most carbon pollution from power plants, the state’s largest single source of global warming pollution. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations without action to reduce the carbon pollution fueling the problem.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Energy Efficient Buildings Would Reduce Global Warming Pollution, Save Florida Families $590 Annually

Florida families could save $590 every year on their electricity bills by 2030 if the government invests in the energy efficiency of our buildings today, according to a new report by Environment Florida. Saving energy in our buildings would also help Florida’s fight against global warming, reducing global warming pollution from buildings by 35 percent—the equivalent of taking 12.6 million cars off the road or shutting down 15 coal-fired power plants.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Building a Better America

We can save money and help solve global warming by reducing the amount of energy we use, including in the buildings where we live and work every day. More than 40 percent of our energy — and 10 percent of all the energy used in the world — goes toward powering America’s buildings. But today’s high-efficiency homes and buildings prove that we have the technology and skills to drastically improve the efficiency of our buildings while simultaneously improving their comfort and affordability.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

The Way Forward on Global Warming

Humanity is running out of time to stop the most dangerous impacts of global warming. Signs of global warming are appearing around the world—including in the United States—and the latest science suggests that future impacts are likely to occur sooner and be more severe than previously thought.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Florida Research & Policy Center

Fossil Fuel Stranglehold on Climate in Congress Need Not Thwart U.S. Progress

Despite the political dominance of fossil fuel interests and their effective veto of any progress on energy and climate policy in Congress, the U.S. can dramatically reduce global warming emissions, according to a study released today by Environment Florida Research and Policy Center.

Environment Florida Research and Policy Center was joined today by Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda and students Cornerstone Learning Community to release an analysis showing that local governments and states, with an assist from federal agencies, can cut carbon pollution dramatically by 2030.  Moncrief provided the following statement: Despite the political dominance of fossil fuel interests and their effective veto of any progress on energy and climate policy in the U.S. Congress, the U.S. can and must dramatically reduce global warming emissions. We’re here today to show why Florida has a very important role to play in this critical moment.

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