As international leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a new study shows America’s power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the air any other country’s entire economy except China. Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center pointed to the report as evidence for why the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in the international fight against global warming.
America’s dependence on gasoline as a transportation fuel worsens global warming and threatens public health. Increasing the use of electric vehicles – especially those powered by clean, renewable sources of electricity – can protect the climate and help America get off oil.
Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. To curb this massive release of toxic chemicals into our nation’s water, we must step up Clean Water Act protections for our waterways and require polluters to reduce their use of toxic chemicals.
Solar power is on the rise across the country. The United States has more than 200 times as much solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed today as it did in 2002. America’s major cities are helping to lead this clean energy revolution. Forward-thinking local governments and large cities in leading states are benefiting from smart policies that encourage investment in solar PV installations and the growth of local jobs.
American leadership in the fight against global warming is crucial. America is the world’s largest economy, the second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, and the nation responsible for more of the human-caused carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere than any other. Without prompt action by the United States and others to reduce global warming pollution, catastrophic impacts – from coastal flooding to food system disruptions – could become unavoidable.
Fortunately, even in the absence of a comprehensive response from the U.S. Congress, local and state governments and the Obama administration have taken leadership on global warming.
Environment Virginia Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.