The last generation

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

Years ago, many of us thought of global warming as something that would happen “someday.” As it turns out, “someday” is now.

Since 2000, we’ve experienced 16 of the 17 warmest years on record  including 2016, 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, and storms growing more powerful, and droughts and other forms of extreme weather more disruptive.

A two-part challenge

Nobody, of course, wants to leave the next generation a world where heat waves, floods, droughts and worse are the “new normal,” everyday events in an increasingly dangerous world.

If we accept, as we must, the broad scientific consensus that our pollution is accelerating these changes, then this is our challenge: to stop putting carbon into our air, and to repower our society with clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.

The good news is that solutions like solar, wind and efficiency not only reduce carbon pollution. They also clean up our air, reduce asthma attacks, and promote energy independence.

The Clean Power Plan

Over the past eight years, we’ve made significant progress to reduce global warming pollution and to make sure we leave kids growing up today a cleaner, healthier planet.

For example, in June 2014 President Obama moved forward with what The New York Times called “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

His plan is called the Clean Power Plan and it 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 #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 building block to the success of the president’s climate deal with China — which is itself the cornerstone to a broader global agreement. 

More than 8 million supporters

A recent poll shows that 2/3 of all Americans back the idea. Americans 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, some members of Congress — including backers of the fossil fuel industry and those who still deny the overwhelming science behind climate change  have vowed to do everything in their power to block the plan.

What can and must we do to see that the Clean Power Plan remains in place?

First, in Congress, we must persuade enough representatives and senators to defend the Clean Power Plan and other necessary protections from repeal and rollback. 

Second, outside of Washington, we must persuade both Republican and Democratic governors who support clean energy to stand behind the Clean Power Plan  and thereby signal to Congress and the courts that blocking this plan will be politically unpopular.

Third, we must keep showing all of these officials that local leaders and the public are with us and willing to speak out on this issue  because we know when the public leads, our leaders will, eventually, follow. 

Protect our children's future

That’s what happened when we helped mobilize public opinion and support to turn back attacks on solar in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and won new commitments to solar in Austin and Houston, Athens and Atlanta, and New York State and California, among other places. Over the last 10 years, we’ve helped establish dozens of pro-solar programs, including the biggest: California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative.

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 #1 global warming polluters. 

 

Global Warming Updates

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.

> Keep Reading
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

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Massachusetts

Massachusetts Urged to Strengthen Cap on Climate Altering Carbon Emissions

Environment Massachusetts joined other environmental, public health and business organizations today at a public hearing on proposed improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap on climate-altering carbon emissions from power plants. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Massachusetts

Lighting the Way

Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Massachusetts

Massachusetts Ranks 10th in the Nation in Solar Power

BOSTON, MA –Massachusetts ranks 10th in the nation on solar installed per capita and 7th in total solar capacity through 2012, according to Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America’s Top 12 Solar States, a new report released today by Environment Massachusetts.   Last year, solar capacity in Massachusetts grew by 65%, bringing it to a total of 198 megawatts through the end of 2012.  Massachusetts was profiled as one a dozen states that have led the nation in solar energy with supportive policies and a commitment to continued expansion. In May, the Commonwealth shot past its 2017 goal of 250 megawatts of solar more than three years early; putting it on track to rank even higher next year. 

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed