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Our Campaigns

Environmental Defense: Our Climate

Goal: Protect our children’s future by blocking moves in Washington, D.C., to roll back climate protections.
We all want a safe, healthy future for our children and grandchildren. That’s why we need to do all we can on global warming. Yet President Trump wants to dismantle protections that limit global warming pollution from power plants, cars and trucks, and other sources. We’re working to defend and strengthen climate protections.
  • <h4>CLEAN CARS</h4><h5>Cleaner cars will help us avoid as much global warming pollution as is produced by 30 coal-burning power plants. That’s why we’re defending America’s clean car standards.</h5><em></em>
  • <h4>CLEAN POWER</h4><h5>By 2030, cleaner power will not only reduce global warming pollution, but also save thousands of lives. That’s why we’re defending the Clean Power Plan.</h5><em>NREL</em>
  • <h4>CLIMATE SCIENCE & MORE</h4><h5>Our decisions about global warming and climate change should be informed by sound science. That’s why we’re defending climate scientists against attempts to censor or defund their work. </h5><em>NASA/Kathryn Hansen</em>
  • <h4>ACTION & RESULTS</h4><h5>As a part of a national network, we've cast a spotlight on global warming for 30 years, calling for and winning action at the local, state and national levels.</h5><em>staff photo</em>
How can we leave our kids a safer future?

When it comes to kids and grandkids, there’s one thing all Americans can agree on: We want them to be safe and healthy.

Yet scientists warn us that if we want our children and grandchildren to have a safe and healthy future, we need to do more to reduce the pollution that’s warming our planet and changing our climate.

Since 2001, we’ve experienced 17 of the 18 warmest years on record. As the oceans warm, we’re learning that it’s no longer a question of if the Antarctic ice sheet will melt, but when and how fast. Warmer oceans are supercharging storms like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Rising seas are more frequently flooding cities from Boston to Miami. Wildfires in the West are burning hotter and lasting longer into the fall.

Progress worth defending

President Trump has publicly dismissed these concerns. Unless his administration reverses course, cars, trucks and power plants will pollute more carbon into our air; the government’s climate scientists will be censored; and other climate protection programs will be weakened or flat-out eliminated.

Whether or not President Trump truly believes that climate change is a “hoax,” it’s not easy for any president to repeal federal rules and standards on his own—Congress, the courts and the public all get to have their say. When it comes to federal action on global warming, we’re challenging his administration every step of the way. Here’s our plan:

Clean cars

We oppose the administration’s decision to reopen clean car standards approved by the Obama administration, as well as bills that would roll back the standards—bills that, if passed, will result in an extra 155 million metric tons of global warming pollution. That’s equivalent to the pollution emitted in one year by 30 coal-burning power plants.

In response to the administration’s actions, tens of thousands of Americans signed petitions circulated by Environment Nevada, our affiliates in 29 states and our allies calling for stronger, not weaker, car and truck pollution limits. Among the signers: 1,500 doctors, nurses and health professionals and 550 small business owners.

Clean Power Plan

We also oppose the administration’s move to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s plan to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired and other power plants.

The extra pollution that will result from blocking the Clean Power Plan will, according to our analysis, not only contribute to global warming, but also cut short 3,600 lives and trigger 90,000 asthma attacks in children each year by 2030.

Health professionals have also been vocal on this issue, thanks in part to our outreach. Before President Trump was sworn into office, 1,100 health professionals called on him to take strong action on global warming. “Climate change is perhaps the most serious public health threat today. It cannot wait four years. We must act now,” said Dr. Anthony Schlaff, Director of Public Health Programs at Tufts University.

Climate science and other programs

The administration and Congress are also targeting other climate initiatives, including federally funded scientific research. Our staff act as watchdogs in Washington, D.C., calling out elected and appointed officials for actions that are likely to accelerate global warming, and making sure they know the public is paying attention.

A moral imperative, a record of achievement

In our view, we have a moral obligation to future generations, as well as all life on the planet, to reduce the pollution that’s warming the Earth and disrupting our climate.

It’s a view that’s shared by millions of Americans, many of whom have spoken up for local, state and national action on the issue.

Beginning in the 2000s and driven by the research, advocacy and organizing of our state affiliates, Connecticut and a dozen other states enacted their own clean car standards to limit global warming pollution. By 2010, state leadership had paved the way for national standards adopted by the Obama administration.

In a similar manner, state and regional action eased the way for adoption of the Clean Power Plan. Our national network helped establish and strengthen the Northeastern states’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which caps carbon pollution from power plants. We co-led the coalition that called on the Obama administration to enact the Clean Power Plan, a campaign supported by 8 million public comments.

A delay we can’t afford

The good news is that even the Trump administration and the current Congress can’t stop the progress Americans are making in reducing carbon emissions. But they can slow it down. We need faster, not slower, action on global warming—as anyone who lived through Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Irma or Jose; the increasing number of severe forest fires in the West and Southeast; or the rising seas disrupting life from Miami to Norfolk, Va., to Boston will tell you.

Stay Up To Date On The Latest Rollbacks

We’re keeping an eye out for other attempts to turn back the clock on climate protection. To keep informed, sign up for our email, follow us on Facebook, or connect with us on Twitter.