Saturday, April 13, 2013

EPA’s climate change adaptation plan falls short: groups urge three key actions

Center for Biological Diversity: The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan for adapting to climate change has fatal flaws that will limit its ability to help the nation cope with the mounting climate crisis, said 30 groups in a letter sent to the agency this week. The groups urged the agency to use its existing authority under the Clean Air Act to make quick, ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas pollution to slow the increasingly devastating changes being wreaked by global warming.

The EPA’s proposed “Climate Change Adaptation Plan,” released for public comment, outlines how the agency will try to remain effective in the face of climate change and help people and wildlife adjust to the massive environmental transformations underway. But the agency’s plan fails to acknowledge its own crucial role in national greenhouse pollution reductions, which will play a key role in determining the magnitude of the danger the nation will face.

...According to the groups, the EPA must take three key actions to help the nation cope with global warming risks:
  1. Make quick and ambitious cuts in greenhouse gas pollution under the Clean Air Act and other laws: Bold moves to cut greenhouse gas pollution will reduce the need for adaptation efforts and will make those efforts more feasible and less costly. ...
  2. Acknowledge the scientific evidence that today’s greenhouse gas concentrations are already resulting in climate chaos....
  3. Recognize the science-based target for atmospheric carbon dioxide of 350 parts per million: That’s the level scientists have determined is necessary to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. The EPA has the authority to set a national limit for CO2 at this level to protect people, wildlife and the planet. A national cap on carbon is critical to heading off the worst effects of global warming.

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