It’s time to ditch fossil fuels.

Human-induced climate change is one of the defining issues facing our world today. A warming planet threatens all aspects of life on earth — a crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, and security implications. We know that we need to ditch fossil fuels and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions immediately in order to avoid catastrophic effects.

This week’s news that the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has temporarily blocked a climate change rule is dismaying. Implementation of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan has essentially been stalled, which aims at reducing carbon pollution from power plants. The plan is not doomed, however, we’re at a time when every day makes a difference in halting carbon emissions. John D Sutter suggests in his opinion piece on the topic for CNN, that this roadblock to the Clean Power Plan has symbolic ramifications, as the SCOTUS appears to be thwarting our global responsibility to cut emissions and meet international targets in the fight against climate change. Yet, climate activists remain hopeful; seeing the transition to clean energy sources an irrevocable and this SCOTUS decision a surmountable obstacle.

At the end of last year, the United States, alongside nearly 200 other countries at Paris’ COP21 meeting of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, agreed to keep global warming below 2 degrees celsius. Note that in order to do so we must reach net zero carbon emissions by about 2050 globally. While there have been collective agreements made globally in the past, some to little result, ‘The Paris Agreement’ is heralded as the most able to succeed. This is primarily because The United State and China, the world’s two biggest polluters, both proposed ambitious carbon emissions cuts, exactly the directive of the Clean Power Plan.

Without the Clean Power Plan it would be “virtually impossible for the U.S. to catch up and achieve reductions consistent with the objective agreed in Paris of holding warming well below 2 degrees Celsius”, and not implementing it, “would set the U.S. emissions to rise…” says Marcia Rocha of Climate Action Tracker.

In light of the setbacks on the national level, New York’s Clean Energy Standard, with it’s accompanying financial Clean Energy Fund (which allocates $5 billion to grow clean energy in the state over the next decade) could not have come at a better time.

It’s time for bold action. The most dangerous climate catastrophes may still be avoided if we can transform our energy systems and initiate robust adaptation programs immediately. Thankfully, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has done just that. With the Clean Energy Standard, he states, “We are taking real, enforceable actions in New York…with one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals of any state in the nation, we are leading by example to ensure the possibility of a bright future for generations to come.” This standard mandates that 50% of the electricity consumed in New York must be produced by clean and renewable energy sources by 2030.

We’re hopeful about this goal. Residential and commercial solar are booming in New York State, and with the launch of Community Solar we’re making huge strides in the shift to clean, renewable energy for everyone. Want to learn more? Contact us. 



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