CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING IN PENNSYLVANIA
We must act now to avoid serious consequences.
Global climate change is the most serious environmental challenge facing Pennsylvania and yet we remain the third highest carbon emitting state in the union. 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.
If emissions aren’t reduced quickly, we may be too late. Scientists refer to natural “tipping points” that represent a stage at which mitigating climate change becomes difficult, if not impossible.
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 combatting it must be a policy priority.
Without significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Pennsylvania will be dealing with significant climate impacts, including:
Pennsylvania DEP’s 2015 Climate Impacts Assessment
Using scientific data, this report outlines how climate change can affect Pennsylvania’s citizens, communities, industries, and economy.
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.
Aggressive climate action becomes more necessary with each passing day. Significant investments have sped the development of clean energy and other technologies, but comparable investments and strong policies that pave the way for climate action are the missing link.
The Clean Power Plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power generation sector. In Pennsylvania, we must cut our emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 — a goal that is within reach and will both limit carbon pollution and encourage clean energy and energy efficiency.
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.
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
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