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 New Jersey

NJ’s Solar Energy Economy Gets a Boost

At the end of June, and just days before their summer recess, the New Jersey Legislature had passed a bill (S1925 / A2966) that will help further grow New Jersey’s successful and booming solar energy industry.  Governor Christie signed that bill today and Matt Elliott, Environment New Jersey’s Clean Energy Advocate, issued a statement applauding the move.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New Jersey

Electric Vehicles are Ready to Roll in New Jersey

Environment New Jersey's report, Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption, says that over 13,100 drivers in New Jersey could purchase their first plug-in vehicle within the next three years.  Overall these vehicles will reduce New Jersey’s global warming pollution by almost 20 thousand metric tons per year.  If the plug-in vehicles are powered by clean sources of electricity, these savings will rise to nearly 55 thousand metric tons per year.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New Jersey

Christie Administration Sued for Illegally Leaving Regional Clean Energy Pact

Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection failed to follow legal due process and safeguard the economic and health interests of New Jersey citizens when pulling the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – a 10-state compact that is cutting harmful air pollution from power plants and shifting investments to clean energy, according to a lawsuit filed today by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment New Jersey.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New Jersey

A Record of Leadership

Over the last decade, northeastern states have built a track record of successful action to reduce global warming pollution. By working together
across state lines and partisan divides—and developing innovative new policies to hasten the transition to a clean energy economy—the Northeast has succeeded in
cutting emissions while safeguarding the region’s economic health.
Between 2000 and 2009, the 10 northeastern states1 that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cut per capita carbon dioxide

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New Jersey

As Emissions in Northeast States Decline, Economic Growth Outpaces Nation

A new report by Environment New Jersey released today highlights the role that clean energy and environmental policies have played in moving states toward meeting targets for reducing global warming emissions, while challenging claims that actions that reduce emissions undermine economic growth.  

According to “A Record of Leadership: How Northeastern States are Cutting Global Warming Pollution and Building a Clean Economy,” New Jersey and the 9 other states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have cut per capita carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation, even as the region’s gross product per capita grew 87 percent faster than the rest of the United States. 

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed