The first installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)—released in September—confirmed the overwhelming scientific consensus that the world is warming, largely due to human activities. The Working Group II (WGII) report, released today, takes this finding a step further: Not only is climate change happening, but every continent on earth is now experiencing its impacts.
WASHINGTON— China’s pollution and emissions challenges have been making headlines, but China’s leaders are taking action to respond. While some U.S. policy makers are using China’s pollution as an excuse for U.S. inaction, there are also emerging signals that China can make progress on its pollution challenges.
What is the reality? Is China heading in a new direction?
In the State of the Union address last night, President Obama called to make this “a year of action.” Addressing climate change will require his administration to make that call a reality.
The most important task the administration can take is to set greenhouse gas emissions standards for existing power plants—a move that the President highlighted in his speech last night. Ambitious power plant standards are a critical starting point if the United States is to rise to the climate change challenge.
When President Obama addresses the nation later today, climate change is expected to be featured. The president recently said that one of his personal passions is “leaving a planet that is as spectacular as the one we inherited from our parents and our grandparents.” The next two years will determine if his administration can meet this standard.
Earlier this month, WRI launched its “Stories to Watch in 2014.”
All years are important, but decisions made in 2014 will have a striking impact for decades to come. Here are seven potential game-changers:
Thanks to efforts to reduce its coal use, Minnesota is producing more power while decreasing its carbon dioxide pollution. But the state has the potential to go even further.
New WRI analysis finds that Minnesota can reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 31 percent below 2011 levels by 2020 just by complying with its current policies and taking advantage of existing infrastructure opportunities. Achieving these reductions will allow Minnesota to meet potentially ambitious EPA power plant emissions standards, which are due to be finalized next year.
WRI analysis finds that Minnesota can reduce its CO2 emissions 31 percent below 2011 levels by 2020.
President Obama announced the first-ever National Climate Plan for the United States in June 2013. Under the plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will set carbon pollution standards for power plants. In September 2013, EPA introduced emissions standards for new power plants and...