Quantcast

5 Essential Policies to Enact the Perfect Climate Crisis Plan

Insights + Opinion
On September 4, 2019, a loose chain of tropical cyclones lined up across the Western Hemisphere. Joshua Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory / NOAA / NESDIS

By Jackie Filson

We're going to make this very simple. These are the 5 non-negotiable policies an ideal climate plan must include:


1. A Halt on All New Fossil Fuel Development

This means banning fracking everywhere, ending dangerous build-outs of pipelines and other harmful fossil fuel infrastructure, banning public land extraction, and stopping the export of crude oil and natural gas. This also means excluding the use of market-based mechanisms like cap and trade or carbon taxes, which have been proven ineffective at reducing fossil fuel use and production. The best policy cuts these emissions off at the source.

2. An Aggressive Timeline for a Shift to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy

This means shifting to clean, renewable energies (like wind, solar, tidal, or geothermal) by 2030, stopping the use of "clean washing" (posing dirty energy like nuclear, wood, black liquor, waste methane, waste incineration, renewable energy credits, coal as clean), investing in expanded and better public mass transit, transitioning to zero-emission transportation, and promoting energy efficiency and conservation across the country.

3. A Federal Commitment to Public Water

This means dedicating at least $35 billion each year to renovating our nation's deteriorating public water infrastructure; addressing water contamination from PFOA, PFOS and other PFASs (widespread, persistent lab-made toxics); replacing all lead service lines; stopping sewer overflows; dedicating money to help small, rural and indigenous communities; and promoting affordable water service for all regardless of income (see: WATER Act).

4. A Transition Away From Corporate Agriculture

This means banning factory farming, breaking up corporate agricultural consolidation, restoring control over agricultural siting and practices to local governments, holding vertically integrated companies accountable for the pollution created by the animals they own and rejecting false solutions like manure-to-energy schemes.

5. A Just, Fair, and Equitable Process

This means substantially investing in upgrading the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings to create millions of high-quality jobs, targeting these investments in lower-income populations and communities of color in both urban and rural areas, implementing pro-labor policies to ensure green jobs are worker and union-friendly, and funding transition programs for fossil fuel workers.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Food and Water Watch.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This study found evidence of illegal hammerhead fins in 46 out of 46 sampling events in Hong Kong. NOAA / Teachers at Sea Program

By Jason Bittel

Authorities in Hong Kong intercepted some questionable cargo three years ago — a rather large shipment of shark fins that had originated in Panama. Shark fins are a hot commodity among some Asian communities for their use in soup, and most species are legally consumed in Hong Kong, but certain species are banned from international trade due to their extinction risk. And wouldn't you know it: this confiscated shipment contained nearly a ton of illegal hammerhead fins.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Heat waves emanate from the exhaust pipe of a city transit bus as it passes an American flag hung on the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice on April 25, 2013. David McNew / Getty Images

Air pollution rules aren't doing enough to protect Americans, finds a major new study that examined the cause of death for 4.5 million veterans, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Coldplay playing at Stade de France in Paris in July 2017. Raph_PH / Wikipedia / CC BY 2.0

Coldplay is releasing a new album on Friday, but the release will not be followed by a world tour.

Read More Show Less
Ash dieback is seen infecting a European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Bottomcraig, Scotland, UK on Aug. 10, 2016. nz_willowherb / Flickr

Scientists have discovered a genetic basis to resistance against ash tree dieback, a devastating fungal infection that is predicted to kill over half of the ash trees in the region, and it could open up new possibilities to save the species.

Read More Show Less