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 Georgia

Clean Energy Wins on Election Day in Athens

Athens, GA--With 78.43% of voters in support, the Athens-Clarke County SPLOST package was overwhelming passed last night. Passage will allow Athens-Clarke Co. to move forward with a plan that will collect roughly $313 million over the next 11 years from a 1 cent sales tax increase. Included in the package presented to voters was over $15 million dollars for the local government to spend on energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy like rooftop solar. 

 

 

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News Release | Environment Georgia

Georgia Mayors Join National Coalition to Call for a Solar Energy Future

Decatur, Georgia - Georgia mayors representing 5 cities across our state have joined a list of over 300 cities across the U.S. in signing on to a letter calling for a future powered by more clean renewable solar power, released today by Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. The group of “Mayors for Solar Energy” committed to this cause is bipartisan and represents cities of all sizes spanning all 50 states. 

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Climate Solutions Now | Andrea McGimsey

When Oxford Dictionaries chooses “climate emergency” as the word of the year for 2019, you know things are changing. Our children are inheriting a world vastly different and more dangerous than the one we grew up in, and we need to act on climate now. 

When Oxford Dictionaries chooses “climate emergency” as the word of the year for 2019, you know things are changing. Our children are inheriting a world vastly different and more dangerous than the one we grew up in, and we need to act on climate now. 

Yet as world leaders meet in Madrid this week to discuss progress towards cutting global warming pollution and hitting the targets of the historic international Paris Agreement, President Trump has vowed to pull our country out. 

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News Release | Environment Georgia

Environment Georgia Testifies: Stop the Electric Fee Hike

Atlanta, GA--Environment Georgia’s Clean Energy Fellow, Channa Childs, testified during the Georgia Public Service Commissions rate case hearings this week. The hearings will decide what a requested Georgia Power rate increase would look like. Georgia Power Company has asked to raise the mandatory minimum fee from $10 to roughly $18. This will net Georgia Power millions more and cost Georgians at least $215 a year before they flip their light switch on. 

Ms. Childs’ testimony is below and the petition that was delivered can be found here.

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News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Athens Beats out Atlanta and Other Larger Cities in Solar City Rankings

Athens, GA-Athens out ranks much larger cities like Charlotte, Orlando and even Atlanta for installed solar capacity per capita. The results come from the sixth edition of Shining Cities:The Top U.S. Cities for Solar a new report released today by Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.

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