Renewables are critical to addressing climate change

In the coming years, one of the biggest questions facing policymakers will be how to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions responsible for global climate change. But while renewable energy offers a cost-effective solution to reduce carbon emissions from the energy sector, it may not be apparent to everyone why countries around the world need to move quickly to adopt clean energy technologies.

According to NASA, carbon pollution lingers in Earth’s atmosphere for between 300 to 1,000 years! That means carbon pollution released from the first-time humankind burned fossil fuels in a power plant is still hanging out in the atmosphere. And every year we delay reducing emissions causes more CO2 to accumulate in the atmosphere—deepening the climate crisis. 

Therefore, time is of the essence. 

Luckily, advancements in clean energy technologies now allow us to live the comforts of modern life at an affordable price without harming our environment. Because renewable energy sources do not burn fuels to create electricity, they do not emit CO2 or other air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides linked to asthma. So, renewables are helping solve climate change while also making our communities healthier by improving air quality.

In 2019 alone, the U.S. avoided over 198 million tons of carbon emissions by sourcing a portion of its electricity generation from wind power. That is the equivalent of eliminating emissions from more than 42 million cars! As the U.S. builds more wind and solar generation, we can expect the power sector’s CO2 emissions to continue to fall. 

If America builds renewables fast enough, we have a real chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But that requires clean energy advocates making their voices heard, which is why we started Clean Power for America

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Caring about the climate crisis and building America’s clean energy economy puts you in good company. A recent study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found broad support for adopting renewable energy among Americans. 53% of registered voters say global warming should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress.

66% of registered voters say developing clean energy sources should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress. And 80% of voters support generating more solar and wind power on public lands. 

Clearly, Americans get it. Building more renewables is a critical step towards solving climate change, improving our communities’ health, and creating a competitive 21st-century economy. 

Learn more about clean energy’s role in the fight against climate change.  

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