In 2020, America produced almost four times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind as in 2011, according to a new report from Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group. Renewables on the Rise 2021: The rapid growth of renewables, electric vehicles and other building blocks of a clean energy future finds that if U.S. wind, solar and geothermal power continue to grow at the same 15% annual rate, renewables could meet the nation’s current electricity needs by 2035.
More than one in six Americans, 58.4 million people, suffered through more than 100 days of elevated air pollution in 2020. Our report calls attention to the very real public health problems air pollution causes in both cities and rural areas across the country, such as asthma, heart issues, and premature death. It explains how global warming will make air pollution worse, and why tackling climate pollution has an impact on air quality.
The United States produces too much waste. Natural resources are continually extracted to produce goods that are used in the U.S. – often only briefly – before they are thrown into landfills, incinerators or the natural environment. This system of consumption and disposal results in the waste of precious resources and in pollution that threatens our health, environment and the global climate. Because the costs of this system fall on society at large – not on the producers and consumers who drive it – there are few direct incentives for change.
As biodiversity continues its decline, a new report highlights key projects that are working to reconnect nature through “wildlife corridors.” The report from Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center offers examples of how human-made barriers can be modified to allow animals to safely traverse through natural corridors between habitats.
Americans love the beach. No matter where we live, we should be able to expect that the water at our beaches is clean and safe for swimming. In fact, that was a key goal when our nation adopted the Clean Water Act in 1972. But all too often, those arriving for a summer day at the beach are met by an advisory sign warning of unsafe water. Even worse, millions of Americans in recent years have been sickened by swimming in contaminated water, with many hospitalized.
Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.