The third National Climate Assessment released today highlights the effects of climate change across our nation, and concludes that we are not prepared for the significant risks posed by our rapidly changing climate. The assessment is a Congressional-mandated report that includes evidence and research from 13 federal science agencies. Today’s National Climate Assessment comes on the heels of a major report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in April, a compendium of data and research authored by hundreds of scientists and experts around the world, which also concluded that we must take quick, descisive measures to reduce our carbon pollution if we are to avoid the most catastrophic impacts from climate change.
Amid these warnings, news reports abound of the fossil-fuel industry’s self-serving attacks on practical solutions to climate change, most notably efforts to thwart existing state renewable portfolio standards and incentives for solar and other renewable power, even in the face of this mounting evidence that we need to focus on ramping up clean energy resources to replace fossil fuels.
Statement by Trip Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice:
“The National Climate Assessment paints a bleak picture, but it is a picture we have seen clearly for many years, and we have to act on it now.”
“President Obama will unveil proposed safeguards on carbon pollution from existing power plants next month. These new protections are the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to avoid the costliest and most disastrous effects of climate change. Coal-fired power plants are the single-largest cause of our nation’s climate pollution problem. When the safeguards are finalized, communities across the nation and around the world will benefit from healthier air and a safer climate.
“The divide between the fossil-fuel industries misguided attempts to place profits above the needs of our families and communities grows as each new scientific report is released. Every time we take any action on climate change, this industry claims the sky is falling. As our communities reel from droughts, floods, forest fires, fossil fuel disasters, crop failures and more, it becomes harder for these polluters and those aligned with them to hide just how out of touch from reality they are.”
Statement by Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Climate and Energy:
“We will continue to do our part for a, livable, prosperous future by championing clean energy and the common-sense policies that support it, from renewable portfolio standards and rooftop solar ‘net metering’ policies to limits on climate pollution for the worst carbon polluters. State by state, city by city, if necessary.
“As a nation, we need to act on the warnings we are getting from our own scientists and protect the health of our families, communities and environment. We need to leave a lasting climate legacy that sets strong protections against carbon pollution from existing coal plants—the largest contributors to carbon pollution and a changing climate.”