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

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

Obama Finalizes Historic Clean Car Standards

Raleigh—The Obama administration finalized new clean car standards today that will double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks over time, the largest single step the U.S. has ever taken to reduce oil dependence and cut carbon pollution.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

Global Warming to Make Hurricanes More Severe, Report Says

Raleigh, NC—Hurricanes like Irene –which killed six last year and caused up to 20 inches of rainfall in parts of the state—could be more severe in the future because of global warming, according to a new Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center report.  Nearly half the state’s population has been hit by an extreme weather event since 2006, according to the county-by-county data examined in the study. 

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

In the Path of the Storm

Hurricanes could be more severe in the future because of global warming, and nearly half the state’s population has been hit by an extreme weather event since 2006, according to the county-by-county data examined in the report. 

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

Growing Solar in North Carolina: Solar Power's Role in a Clean Energy Future

With sunlight on almost 250 days a year, solar energy is a real energy option for North Carolina.  Based on rate of growth in solar installations experienced in other states and countries, North Carolina can install enough solar power over the next two decades to supply 2 percent of the state’s electricity by 2020, and 14 percent by 2030.

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

Working with the Sun: How Solar Power Can Protect North Carolina's Environment and Create New Jobs

Solar power can curb pollution, protecting public health and North Carolina’s environment. It can also drive North Carolina’s economy forward – creating jobs that can’t be outsourced, and launching new companies to manufacture and install solar power equipment. This report quantifies the benefits of developing North Carolina’s solar resources on a trajectory to supply 14 percent of the state’s electricity consumption by the year 2030. 

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