Despite tragedy all around us, there’s reason for hope, in the landmark international climate agreement that will reduce carbon pollution across the globe. Thanks to grassroots activism and decisive American leadership, more than 180 countries, which account for 98 percent of the global emissions that cause climate change, have agreed to do their part to ensure the planet we turn over to our children and grandchildren is safer and healthier.
This action couldn’t have come at a more important time. Science continues to tell us that inaction will dramatically increase the costs and consequences of climate change. Droughts, floods and extreme weather events are already taking a toll on families, businesses and communities. South Carolinians have experienced this first hand.
That’s why we must seize this opportunity to embrace the clean-energy solutions that create jobs and drive innovation. This means embracing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which sets protections from carbon pollution from U.S. power plants.
But let us not stop there. We can roll up our sleeves and get involved at the local level too. I watched excitedly as San Diego passed a law enabling it to get 100 percent of its energy from clean energy by 2035.
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The climate agreement, together with state and local efforts, is what future generations deserve and what the world needs. I hope we’ll soon have even more good news to read about.
Executive Committee Chair, S.C. Sierra Club