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

Report | Environment Illinois Research & Education Center

In the Path of the Storm

Weather disasters kill or injure hundreds of Americans each year and cause billions of dollars in economic damage. The risks posed by some types of weather-related disasters will likely increase in a warming world. Scientists have already detected increases in extreme precipitation events and heat waves in the United States, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently concluded that global warming will likely lead to further changes in weather extremes.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Illinois Research & Education Center

Obama Administration to Protect Americans’ Health by Setting Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed historic new limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution in the U.S., yet there are currently no federal limits on this pollution from power plants. The proposed Carbon Pollution Standard will correct that for new power plants by limiting emissions to more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution for each megawatt of electricity produced.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Illinois Research & Policy Center

Getting Off Oil

America's dependence on oil inflicts a heavy toll on our environment. There are many technologies and policy tools, however, that can curb America’s dependence on oil--and Illinois can take the lead. 
 

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News Release | Environment Illinois Research and Education Center

Following 2008’s Midwest Floods, New Report to Link Global Warming to Projected Increase in Extreme Weather

On the heels of a summer that saw many parts of the country hit by record heat, severe storms and damaging floods, a new Environment Illinois report documents how global warming could lead to extreme weather events becoming even more common in the future.

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Report | Environment Illinois Research and Education Center

Global Warming and Extreme Weather

Over the last five years, science has continued to make progress in exploring the connections between global warming and extreme weather.

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