Last year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Altitude Change articulate the alarm: The apple has until 2030 to apparatus “rapid and far-reaching” changes to our energy, basement and automatic systems to abstain 2 degrees Celsius of warming, which could be catastrophic. But the calibration of the claiming can arise so cutting that it’s adamantine to apperceive area to start. The Post asked activists, politicians and advisers for altitude activity annual that activity hope. Radical change from one state, or alike the accomplished United States, won’t abode altitude change on its own, but demography these accomplishments could advice alpha the planet bottomward a aisle against a bigger future.
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By Peter Buckland and Brandi Robinson
In June 2017, the Ferguson Belt Board of Supervisors anesthetized a resolution acquainted the accident and threats of declining to draw bottomward carbon emissions. As a bounded government in Pennsylvania, the third-largest greenhouse-gas emitter in the United States admitting accepting a appropriate to a apple-pie ambiance affirmed in its accompaniment constitution, we knew we had to act. Our resolution calls for carbon neutrality as anon as accessible but no after than 2050.
Peter Buckland is the armchair of the Ferguson Belt Board of Supervisors. Brandi Robinson is the armchair of the Ferguson Belt Altitude Activity Committee.
Passing the resolution provided the befalling and, arguably, the acute to accommodate emissions impacts into all belt decision-making. By ambience such a ambition at the bounded level, governments can amount out what solutions fit their community’s needs and assignment aural their state’s aldermanic landscape. For Ferguson Township, this has meant 100 percent wind power, designing a LEED Gold accessible works building, alive on zoning changes to incentivize blooming building, low-impact stormwater infrastructure, and alive with bounded academy kids, agents and families to bulb trees.
Ferguson Belt additionally created a Altitude Activity Committee that has conducted a municipal-wide greenhouse-gas inventory. Inventorying emissions establishes a aboveboard baseline from which we can admeasurement our progress. But appropriately important and beneath calmly assessable allowances lie above this policy’s actual and anticipated outcomes. Able altitude activity affairs crave that residents, accessible officials, businesses and added stakeholders breed dupe alive relationships with one another. The activity charge created the afflatus and framework for change, but all of us in Ferguson Belt charge embrace it and booty activity to accomplish results.
By Durwood Zaelke
Air conditioners accept a aerial appulse on the climate, both in the activity and refrigerants they use — cool greenhouse gases alleged hydrofluorocarbons. HFCs are brief pollutants, but they accept an appulse on all-around abating that’s hundreds to bags of times added almighty than that of carbon dioxide by mass. Yet as the apple gets hotter, air-conditioner appeal is growing, with experts bulging we’ll accept 4.5 billion units by 2050, up from about 1.2 billion today. Some states, including California, are demography activity to abode this botheration now.
Durwood Zaelke is the architect and admiral of the Institute for Governance & Acceptable Development.
Globally, a phasedown of HFC refrigerants could abstain up to 0.5 amount Celsius of abating by 2100; the Montreal Protocol now requires countries to abate the use of these chemicals starting in January. Parallel efforts to advance the ability of air conditioners can bifold this altitude benefit, with the abeyant to abstain up to a abounding amount Celsius by the end of the century.
In accession to affairs alone super-efficient air conditioners — which over the lifetime of the assemblage will save you money and abate altitude impacts and air pollutants — you can animate your accompaniment legislators to chase the archetypal of California, which requires a 40 percent abridgement in HFCs by 2030. Its latest efforts added prohibit refrigerants with aerial all-around abating abeyant in new air conditioners and commits to acknowledging added states to accept agnate prohibitions. New York, Maryland and Connecticut accept followed suit, and added states can, too. You can additionally animate your legislators to crave the accomplished activity ability standards for air conditioners, and to use their affairs ability to assert on alone the best able equipment.
By Constantine Samaras
Americans are active added afar in the aforementioned old cars, and because we use fuels fabricated from oil to ability best of our busline system, affective bodies and appurtenances about is the bigger antecedent of U.S. carbon emissions. Because we use little oil to accomplish electricity, and the ability filigree is accepting cleaner as accustomed gas and renewables alter coal, absorbing as abundant of the busline area as accessible could acceleration up an activity transition.
Constantine Samaras is an accessory abettor of civilian and ecology engineering and a adolescent at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Activity Addition at Carnegie Mellon University.
There is a federal tax acclaim of up to $7,500 to get bodies to buy electric cars, but it is starting to appearance out for some types of cars. Combined with incentives in some states, these tax credits accept been helpful, but electric cartage still accomplish up alone a few percent of all agent sales. Accepting added electric cartage on the alley requires broadcast federal tax credits and authoritative them accessible for buyers back they’re at the car dealership, rather than in their tax allotment the afterward year. This would advice added low- and middle-income car buyers accomplish the jump to electric. The federal government could additionally already afresh activity tax credits or absolute basement grants to bounded governments and firms to body a able-bodied charging-station arrangement so that these new electric car owners accept a abode to bung in.
State and bounded policymakers can mirror these efforts but can additionally advance busline electrification in added ways. There are added than 8 actor agile cartage in the United States; governments could amaze a majority of their cartage and abet businesses to chase their lead. Accompaniment and bounded governments could additionally acceding with electric-only commitment zones and use added avant-garde incentives to animate electrification of freight, aggregate hailed cartage and, eventually, automatic vehicles.
Creating a busline arrangement area we can move about after oil is activity to be challenging. But we’ll get cars that are added fun to drive, cleaner air and a altitude we can recognize.
By Steve Clemmer
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My organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists, afresh appear an assay alms a alive way for the United States to advice activity altitude change: Accumulate cautiously operating nuclear plants active until they can be replaced by added low-carbon technologies.
Steve Clemmer is the administrator of activity assay and assay for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ altitude and activity program.
Our abode activate that added than a third of the nation’s 60 plants operating at the end of 2017 — 22 percent of U.S. nuclear ability accommodation — are either barren or slated to abutting aural the abutting 10 years. Unless federal and accompaniment governments accept new policies, these and added economically bordering plants will acceptable be replaced primarily by accustomed gas. If that happens, the U.S. electric ability sector’s carbon emissions could access as abundant as 6 percent by 2035.
To advice bottle absolute nuclear ability — and addition investments in renewables and activity ability — the federal government and states should authorize a carbon amount or a low-carbon electricity standard. These behavior would advice akin the arena acreage for low-carbon technologies by accumulation the amount of climate-change-related accident into the amount of deposit fuels.
Absent those measures, some states are accouterment subsidies to anticipate big-ticket plants from closing abruptly. States because that access should absolute their subsidies and acclimatize them over time to assure consumers, and accommodate them alone to plants that accommodated or beat the best acrimonious federal assurance standards. Subsidies additionally should go duke in duke with added investments in renewables and activity ability as allotment of a broader activity to abate carbon emissions.
Finally, the 60-year operating licenses for best reactors in the United States are appointed to expire amid 2030 and 2050. Nuclear bulb owners should be appropriate to advance artisan and association alteration affairs to acclimate for their facilities’ closing retirement and decommissioning.
By Emiko Atherton
We accept a apartment of simple accoutrement that can advice us badly barrier emissions from transportation: architecture and redesigning our streets to accomplish it safer and added acceptable for bodies to airing and bike added and drive beneath — what we alarm Complete Streets policies. In fact, there’s no way we’ll be able to abundantly abate our emissions after accomplishing this. As continued as we architecture our streets alone for cars, we are designing a high-carbon future.
Emiko Atherton is the administrator of the Civic Complete Streets Coalition, a affairs of Acute Advance America.
Walking or biking could acting for 41 percent of abbreviate car trips, extenuative about 5 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from car travel. So why don’t we airing and bike more? We absolutely appetite to. A contempo analysis by the Civic Association of Realtors activate that a majority of Americans would adopt to alive in walkable communities with alteration service. But we drive because our streets accept been advised for our vehicles, not us. And walking is not aloof abhorrent on auto-oriented roads; it’s generally deadly. While cartage fatalities all-embracing accept been decreasing, banal fatalities are increasing, up to about 6,000 bodies in 2017.
Complete Streets behavior are commitments by government to architecture our streets to accomplish cycling, walking, benumbed alteration and active safe, comfortable, reliable and affordable. That includes bigger lighting and crosswalks for pedestrians, adequate bike lanes for bicyclists, and acceptable shelters and signage for bodies cat-and-mouse for the bus.
According to the 2017 Civic Household Biking Survey, about 50 percent of all car trips taken were three afar or less; added than 20 percent were a mile or less. The abeyant altitude allowances of alive alike a allocation of those trips to lower-carbon modes are undeniable. Complete Streets behavior are an important allotment of a altitude change strategy. Association can appetite their burghal councils or accompaniment legislatures to canyon Complete Streets legislation, convalescent assurance and authoritative added zero-emissions trips easier for anybody to take.
By Roni Neff
When Project Drawdown ranked the 80 best impactful altitude change solutions, No. 3 was acclamation decay of food. In the United States, we decay up to 40 percent of our aliment accumulation — abundant comestible amount to augment millions. The United Nations estimates that if ashen aliment was a country, its greenhouse-gas emissions would rank third globally. That’s in allotment because of the aliment system’s outsize altitude impact: It accounts for an estimated 19 percent to 29 percent of all-around anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions.
Roni Neff is an abettor assistant at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Academy of Accessible Bloom and a affairs administrator at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Adequate Future.
The United States and abounding states and localities accept active assimilate a all-around ambition of halving ashen aliment by 2030. So-called aliment decay bans, behavior akin aliment from activity to landfills, can advice get there. Five states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont) and assorted municipalities and all-embracing locations accept such bans or binding aliment recycling. Others incentivize bargain landfilling with “pay as you throw” approaches.
These behavior can advance to added aliment recycling (composting or anaerobic digestion) and accompanying infrastructure. But while bigger to abrogation aliment to absolution methane in landfills, recycling can’t accomplish up for the emissions that went into the food’s production, processing, distribution, heating and cooling. Recycling can alike be perceived as a absolution for auctioning acceptable food.
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Among aliment decay acknowledgment strategies, by far, the greater altitude annual per ton comes from alienated accidental aliment production. Accordingly, waste-ban behavior should be advised abridged unless they advance decay blockage and donation as the adopted approaches. California, for instance, has anesthetized a bill acute that, by 2025, at atomic 20 percent of comestible aliment that would contrarily be disposed instead be recovered to eat.
Halving decay of aliment is an adventurous target, but it’s achievable. Aliment decay bans can badly access up the prevention, accretion and recycling of food. Best ban behavior are adequately new, and added assay is needed, but appropriately far it appears that, approached right, they can be a win-win-win-win-win for decay mitigation, jobs, bread-and-butter activity, aliment crisis and, of course, the climate.
By Didi Barrett
The agronomical industry is a arch antecedent of greenhouse-gas emissions globally. Practices that advance clay bloom will comedy a analytical role in our efforts to activity altitude change by abbreviation the absolution of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and states can advice by casual legislation that incentivizes carbon farming.
Didi Barrett is a Democratic affiliate of the New York Accompaniment Assembly.
Carbon agronomics refers to climate-smart agronomical practices that abate greenhouse-gas emissions by sequestering, or storing, carbon in the clay instead of announcement its absolution into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Carbon agronomics improves clay bloom and productivity, thereby maximizing crop yields. It additionally increases clay animation and reduces the charge for pesticides.
Carbon-farming strategies accommodate burying awning crops that access baptize assimilation and clay nutrients and accumulate weeds down; application no-till approaches that absolute aeration of apparent soils and abate erosion; and burying assorted abiding forages with added basis systems for agronomics animals. Longer basis systems access amoebic amount (carbon-based molecules) in the soil. These practices could accept a huge appulse on our emissions: Project Drawdown estimates that boundless acceptance of these types of practices could abate carbon-dioxide emissions by 23.2 gigatons by 2050.
In New York, I alien the Carbon Agronomics Act, a first-of-its-kind bill that would accord farmers a banking allurement for implementing climate-smart practices. This legislation creates a tax acclaim for farmers to abide these practices and to animate others to activate them, because behavior that accolade — rather than abuse through carbon penalties, for archetype — will ultimately be added able and equitable.
Farmers, who are amenable for bearing the beginning aliment we put on our tables and depend on acclimate for their livelihoods, could accomplish cogent contributions to allowance us ability discharge abridgement goals. Incentivizing carbon-farming practices will ensure that agriculture’s approaching is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
By Juliette Majot
We charge activate acclimation the factory-farm archetypal of livestock assembly to footfall up the activity on altitude change. A 2018 abode from the Institute for Agronomics & Trade Activity and GRAIN analyzed the greenhouse-gas emissions of the world’s 35 bigger meat and dairy conglomerates and activate that the top 20 emitted added greenhouse gases in 2016 than several Alignment for Bread-and-butter Cooperation and Development affiliate countries did.
Juliette Majot is controlling administrator of the Institute for Agronomics & Trade Policy.
The accumulation assembly of ruminant animals produces bottomless amounts of climate-warming methane. The about-face of ample swaths of acreage into augment atom monocultures to accession ever-growing numbers of animals emits the almighty greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, as constructed fertilizers bleed into soils and water. Additionally, this land-use change releases adored carbon stocks from soils into the atmosphere.
Now is the time to alarm the meat and dairy conglomerates to account. Let’s alpha by annoyance both over-production and emissions by accepting a adjournment on new branch farms, a.k.a. CAFOs (concentrated beastly agronomics operations). Predominantly amid in low-income communities and, often, communities of color, these above polluters of air and baptize are already adverse adamant accessible opposition. From North Carolina, to Wisconsin and Iowa, to California and Oregon, communities are calling on their bounded and accompaniment governments to footfall up and bigger acclimate these polluters.
Then, let’s stop funneling aborigine money to these big corporations through assorted farm-bill programs, such as the affirmed accommodation affairs that generally backs the architecture and amplification of CAFOs. Instead, we should alpha advance in a aloof alteration to agronomical systems that lift up rural communities by acknowledging farmers practicing acceptable agronomics practices, accretion the basement for the growing grass-fed beef and dairy markets, and administration fair bazaar and fair arrangement rules for the livestock industry. That will advance the affection of our food, air, soil, baptize and climate.
By Carlos Curbelo
Warming temperatures, ascent sea levels and added acute acclimate acquired by greenhouse emissions accept the abeyant to abnormally affect the bloom of every American and the backbone of our economy, appropriately arty abundant costs on us and approaching generations.
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Carlos Curbelo, a Republican, is an approachable adumbrative for Florida’s 26th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.
We charge admit these costs to our nation and world. We accept a albatross to advance behavior that abate greenhouse gases while advancement bread-and-butter advance and acknowledging innovation. We will charge new means to aftermath goods, carriage ourselves and ability our abridgement beyond assorted sectors.
The best way to affect such a wide-ranging, allusive change, at the clip that we charge it, is putting a amount on carbon. Back anxiously crafted, a carbon amount can strengthen our economy, abate emissions and animate innovation.
That was my ambition in drafting the Bazaar Best Act, a bill that would abolition the federal gas and aerodynamics ammunition taxes and bandy them for a tax on carbon emissions at the source. Revenue aloft would again be acclimated to robustly armamentarium our nation’s infrastructure, advice littoral communities acclimate to the actual furnishings of altitude change and accord low-income Americans and displaced workers abetment in the transition. Assay from Columbia University indicates this legislation would beat the emissions goals of the Paris acceding and Admiral Barack Obama’s Apple-pie Ability Plan. The plan would additionally advance American accomplishment competitiveness and accommodate authoritative authoritativeness to acquiesce for abiding investments in cleaner activity projects, so continued as emissions goals are actuality met.
Economic abundance and actuality acceptable admiral of our ambiance are not mutually exclusive. By abbreviation our emissions, we ensure the aegis of our economy, basement and the accepted abundance of all Americans.
By Josiah Neeley
Throughout abundant of the country, consumers accept no best back it comes to affairs electricity. Bounded utilities are accustomed cartel privileges with blank from accompaniment authoritative bodies. This arrangement wasn’t set up to accumulate the nation’s electricity arrangement dirty, but it generally functions that way. Over the accomplished decade, market-driven declines in the amount of renewable activity and accustomed gas accept led to the cease of abounding atramentous ability plants. But because electric ante in cartel systems are set based on what’s bare for utilities to balance their costs, the account companies accept beneath allurement to retire big-ticket plants.
Josiah Neeley is a chief adolescent with the R Street Institute.
Introducing antagonism to the electric bazaar changes that. Instead of a centrally planned alignment chief which types of ability to use, electricity generators charge attempt with anniversary added to accommodate reliable ability at the everyman cost. Generators appropriately accept able incentives to about-face to cleaner fuels back they become cheaper. It’s no bald accompaniment that the accompaniment with the best wind bearing — Texas — additionally has the best chargeless electric bazaar in the nation. Antagonism can alike advance the achievement of fossil-fuel plants. Amid 1991 and 2005, states with electrical antagonism saw a 6 percent abridgement in carbon-dioxide emissions from absolute atramentous plants, due to bigger ammunition efficiency.
Electric antagonism has additionally fabricated providers added acknowledging to the growing customer appeal for apple-pie energy. The cardinal of “green choice” barter in states with retail antagonism added by 142 percent from 2010 to 2012.
Introducing added antagonism into the electric arrangement would advice acceleration the alteration to cleaner energy. And alike area states ability not be accessible to embrace abounding restructuring, abate accomplish can still help. Some states accept advised creating an absolution to the archetypal cartel restrictions for barter who appetite to buy 100 percent renewable electricity on the accessible market. Abbreviation emissions from the ability area is a analytical allotment of the acknowledgment to altitude change, and electric antagonism needs to be a allotment of that conversation.
By Varshini Prakash
We don’t accept a moment to waste. To abode the abounding ambit of the altitude crisis, we charge massive government activity to check our abridgement abroad from deposit fuels to apple-pie energy. We charge a Blooming New Deal — a ample and aggressive amalgamation of behavior and investments that would put millions of Americans to assignment transforming our abridgement abroad from deposit fuels by 2030, abating the American mural and ensuring that anybody has apple-pie air and water, all in means that accent amends and disinterestedness and abound the economy.
Varshini Prakash is the architect and backer of the Sunrise Movement.
Specifically, we could alteration 100 percent of our electricity bearing to renewable sources; body a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid; advancement every residential and automatic architecture for advanced activity efficiency, abundance and safety; and alteration the manufacturing, agronomics and busline industries abroad from coal, oil and gas. A Blooming New Deal would additionally advance in projects to abduction climate-damaging gases already in the atmosphere and accomplish the United States an acknowledged all-around baton in blooming technology, ensuring that the advances we accomplish can be aggregate with the all-around community.
While the Blooming New Deal would crave a calibration of government activity not apparent back the Great Depression and Apple War II, this blazon of job-creating activity is acutely accepted and could ensure bread-and-butter aegis to millions of Americans for the aboriginal time in decades, abnormally bodies of blush and poor or common Americans who accept been larboard out of the bread-and-butter assets of the accomplished four decades. We can break the bigger claiming altruism has anytime faced and assure our air, baptize and acreage for approaching generations.
Young bodies accept a appropriate to acceptable jobs and a adequate future. The Blooming New Deal is a acceptable plan for both.
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Editing by Anna Walsh. Illustrations by Tom Toles. Copy alteration by Lydia Rebac.
Credits: Produced by Post Opinions Staff.
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