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.

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 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 1.5°C — the international consensus target for preventing the worst consequences of warming — the U.S. must reach net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

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

Report | Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center

Moving America Forward

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.

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Report | Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center

Wind Energy for a Cleaner America II

Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity pollutes our air, contributes to global warming, and consumes vast amounts of water—harming our rivers and lakes and leaving less water for other uses. In contrast, wind energy produces no air pollution, makes no contribution to global warming, and uses no water.

America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years and wind energy now generates as much electricity as is used every year in Georgia. To protect the environment, federal and state governments should continue and expand policies that support wind energy.

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News Release | Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center

Power plants are nation’s biggest contributors to global warming, putting Massachusetts communities in harm’s way

As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy nears, a new report from Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center sheds light on the largest contributors to global warming pollution: power plants.

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Report | Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center

America's Dirtiest Power Plants

Global warming is one of the most profound threats of our time, and we’re already starting to feel the impacts – especially when it comes to extreme weather. Power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, responsible for 41 percent of the nation’s production of carbon dioxide pollution. This report identifies the dirtiest power plants in Massachusetts and the United States, quantifies their contribution to global warming pollution, and calls on the Obama administration to adopt strong rules limiting carbon pollution from power plants

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Report | Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center

In the Path of the Storm

Since 2007, federally declared weather-related disasters in the United States have affected counties housing 243 million people – or nearly four out of five Americans. The breadth and severity of weather-related disasters in the United States – coupled with the emerging science on the potential for global warming to exacerbate some types of extreme weather – suggest that the United States should take urgent action to reduce emissions of global warming pollution, while taking steps to prepare for the dangers posed by climate change.

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