Climate change is an urgent threat. Carbon pollution fuels climate change, increasing temperatures nationwide and worsening air quality. This in turn triggers more asthma attacks and respiratory disease, and contributes to more intense drought and wildfire, and more frequent and severe extreme weather events. Climate change also threatens to undermine our national security and will lead to even higher food prices.
What’s to blame? Coal-, oil-, and natural gas-fired power plants are responsible for approximately 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the U.S. – our single largest source.
And because of this carbon pollution, climate change will take a toll on our economy too — harming outdoor tourism, which provides $646 billion in economic benefit to the U.S. every year, and threatening coastal communities, which are directly affected by sea level rise and extreme weather fueled by climate change.
The Defense Department has even classified climate change as a “threat multiplier” that impedes military readiness, increases instability around the world, and threatens America’s national security.
Climate change is also a civil rights issue. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately harmed by the air pollution from coal-fired power plants, as well as by the heat and health risks due to climate change. 68 percent of African-Americans and nearly 2 in 5 Latinos live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.