Climate + Energy

We must act now to avoid serious consequences.

Climate change is the most serious environmental challenge facing our world, yet Pennsylvania remains as one of biggest polluters and fossil fuel producers in the United States. The science is clear; rising temperatures must be limited to less than 1.5°C to give society a fighting chance to avert the most dangerous impacts.

While other states move from fossil fuels to clean energy, Pennsylvania is making enormous public investments in natural gas drilling and infrastructure that will cement our future as a dirty energy state, and our elected officials are still trying to pass gigantic taxpayer subsidies to lure more fracked gas and petrochemical projects to Pennsylvania. 


Choosing Politics Over Science

The science is clear, but some politicians want to foster uncertainty to fuel their own agenda. PennFuture is working to build public awareness and educate lawmakers that climate change is happening now and combating it must be a policy priority.

Choosing Fossil Fuels Over Renewable Energy 

Pennsylvania remains the second-largest fracked gas producer in the country behind only Texas, despite overwhelming evidence that our society needs to transition to clean, renewable energy sources. In addition, our elected officials continue to offer massive subsidies to further entrench the industry within Pennsylvania, while refusing to offer the same financial incentives and subsidies to the renewable energy industry. PennFuture is working tirelessly to ensure that Pennsylvania transitions itself to a clean energy economy and stops prioritizing dirty fossil fuels as an integral part of our economy. 

Devastating Consequences

Without significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Pennsylvania will be dealing with significant climate impacts, including:

  1. Temperature Rise - Average temperatures will increase by at least 3°C, meaning Philadelphia’s climate will feel more like that of Richmond, Virginia, and Pittsburgh’s climate more like Washington, D.C. 
  2. Severe Weather - Higher numbers of extreme storms, such as hurricanes, snow storms, and flooding will impact communities across the commonwealth. Precipitation is predicted to increase by 14 percent, resulting in more flash flooding and soil erosion. 
  3. Increased Drought - Longer and harsher droughts and heat waves will put the most vulnerable populations at risk. 
  4. Wildlife Disruption - To survive, wildlife will shift northward and to higher elevations, reducing the amount of suitable habitat.
  5. Sea Level Rise - Sea level rise could flood entire neighborhoods in southeast Pennsylvania. 
  6. Disease - We will see higher rates of insect-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease, and more agricultural pests and invasive species.


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Climate Change Solutions

Through advances in science, technology and innovation, the possibility for a clean energy future is within our reach. The commonwealth is poised to produce 100 percent of our electricity from zero-carbon sources, make significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, and limit climate change to 1.5°C. But we must act now.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

In October 2019, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection to start the process of Pennsylvania joining RGGI. In doing so, Pennsylvania would drastically lessen its carbon pollution. This issue remains a top priority for PennFuture as the rulemaking process advances. 

Educate Lawmakers

PennFuture has built up an Advocates for Conservation and the Environment (ACE) program, which organizes teams of non-partisan volunteers to educate state and federal legislators about conservation and environmental issues. How can our elected officials vote to support our environment if they aren’t educated on the issues?

Reduce Methane Pollution

Because methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide, it is a significant contributor to climate change. We must engage in bold efforts to reduce methane pollution, the primary component of natural gas. Alongside other toxic co-pollutants, methane leads to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog) and increases asthma attacks in children and pulmonary and heart disease in seniors and the disadvantaged. 

Empower Communities

Citizens and local communities hold the key to our clean energy future. In the face of powerful and expensive industry campaigns, and an unsupportive legislature, more communities are advancing effective policies and climate action. PennFuture is working to provide citizens with accurate information to guide decisions and build sustainable communities. Ask your legislator to #actoncimate. Contact your Legislator

We Are Up Against Climate Deniers and Powerful Industries With Deep Pockets.

Support PennFuture’s work to end more than a century of economic dominance and pollution by the fossil fuel industry. DONATE now.