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

New Data Shows Solar Jobs Growing in Georgia

Atlanta, GA - Solar in Georgia now employs 3,924 people, a 23% increase from 2015, according to new data released today by the Solar Foundation. . Metro Atlanta was home to the most solar jobs (2,406) followed by Chatham and Bibb Counties. The Solar Foundation data breaks down solar jobs in Georgia by county, congressional district and metro area.

Atlanta, GA -
Solar in Georgia now employs 3,924 people, a 23% increase from 2015, according
to new data released today by the Solar Foundation. . Metro Atlanta was home to
the most solar jobs (2,406) followed by Chatham and Bibb Counties. The Solar
Foundation data
breaks down solar jobs in Georgia by county, congressional district and metro
area.

 

The new numbers come from the Solar Foundation’s 2016 solar
jobs census. In 2016, solar jobs grew in 44 states including GA; solar now
employs over 260,000 people nationwide.

 

The growth in solar jobs reflects the growth of solar itself.
In 2016, solar was the number one new source of energy capacity installed in
the United States. As solar grows, it has also reduced climate-warming
emissions and helped to combat air pollution in Georgia.

 

Jennette Gayer from Environment Georgia released the following
statement:

 

“Lately, Americans have had a hard time agreeing on some
important issues facing our country. But I think we can all agree that solar
energy is good for our economy, good for our environment and good for our local
communities.

 

“As the numbers released today show, solar continues to grow
rapidly in Metro-Atlanta and throughout Georgia, providing good local jobs for Georgians
that also help to protect the environment.

 

“Every solar job we add in Georgia means we will continue to
reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and protect public health --
all  while putting people to work in
their communities.

 

“Ultimately we know we can and must repower our lives using
100 percent renewable energy in Georgia and across the country. We encourage
leaders in all sectors to help solar continue to grow and meet this challenge.
In doing so, Georgians will continue to benefit.”

 

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Renewable Energy 100

America’s institutions of higher education can play a crucial role in the fight to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. Colleges and universities across the country should aggressively deploy clean energy on campus, setting a goal of getting 100 percent of their energy from clean renewable sources.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Georgia Researcy & Policy Center

New Report Finds $58.1 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Funds Headed to Georgia Could Help Accelerate All-electric Transportation Revolution

A new report from US PIRG and Environment Georgia finds that $58.1 Million from the Volkswagen (VW) settlement is headed to Georgia to help clean up the state’s transportation system and recommends using the funds to purchase electric vehicle fast charging stations for the state’s highways along with an aggressive expansion of all-electric transit buses to replace aging, dirty, diesel buses. The report finds that this amount of investment could purchase up to 174 fast charging stations and 61 all-electric, zero-emissions buses, reducing dangerous pollution and saving money, all while accelerating further market transformation to an all-electric transportation system.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Georgia Researcy & Policy Center

From Deceit to Transformation

A new report from Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center finds that $58.1 from the Volkswagen (VW) settlement is headed to Georgia to help clean up the state’s transportation system and recommends using the funds to purchase electric vehicle fast charging stations for the state’s highways along with an aggressive expansion of all-electric transit buses to replace aging, dirty buses.

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

Environment Georgia maps out 50 steps towards carbon-free transportation

Pollution from our nation’s cars, buses, trucks and trains is taking America dangerously off track to meeting climate goals, according to a new report written by Frontier Group and released by  Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. 50 STEPS TOWARD CARBON-FREE TRANSPORTATION: Rethinking U.S. Transportation Policy to Fight Global Warming concludes that 21st century transportation policy must quickly shift to new priorities, guided by a central goal of curbing climate-altering carbon pollution

> Keep Reading

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