Global warming is one of the most profound threats of our time, and we’re already starting to feel the impacts – especially when it comes to extreme weather. From Hurricane Sandy to devastating droughts and deadly heat waves, extreme weather events threaten our safety, our health and our environment, and scientists predict things will only get worse for future generations unless we cut the dangerous global warming pollution that is fueling the problem. Power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, responsible for 41 percent of the nation’s production of carbon dioxide pollution, the leading greenhouse gas driving global warming.
Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result.
Nearly six months after Hurricane Sandy and just over two months after Winter Storm Nemo, a new Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center report finds that weather-related disasters are already affecting hundreds of millions of Americans, including all Rhode Island counties, and documents how global warming could lead to certain extreme weather events becoming even more common or more severe in the future.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a central strategy in the Northeastern states’ efforts to protect the region from global warming. Now, nine Northeastern states are considering strengthening RGGI to drive additional reductions in global warming pollution. Strengthening RGGI would be a “win-win” for the Northeast, making an important contribution toward protecting the region from global warming while speeding the transition to a clean energy future.
As Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath prompt more Rhode Islanders to call for action to tackle global warming and the rise in extreme weather, Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center released a new report that shows that power generation from wind energy projects currently under construction will displace as much global warming pollution as taking 1000 cars off the road per year.