When two independent scientific studies confirmed the West Antarctic ice sheet has begun an irreversible melt, triggering sea level rise of potentially more than 10 feet over the coming centuries, Will Steger knew this was another major sign of climate change and a critical tipping point.Other tipping points in the Polar Regions, in addition to the melting of the Western Antarctica ice sheet, include the melting of the Greenland ice cap, and permafrost thawing, which will trigger irreversible changes.
Carbon pollution exacerbates climate change. Fortunately, on June 2nd, the EPA will propose Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. Power plants represent the nation’s greatest source of the heat-trapping gas, or about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. The Standards will take the form of emission guidelines that, once finalized, will establish qualitative benchmarks for states to meet. The states will be responsible for developing state-specific plans to implement the final performance standards.
National limits on carbon pollution will help Minnesota maintain its freedom to continue to implement policies that preserve our quality of life, while also protecting our communities from pollution from neighboring states. Minnesota is already proving that switching to renewable sources of energy is good for the state and good for the economy. We currently get more than 15 percent of our power from clean, renewable sources. Because of actions in Minnesota, we have reduced carbon in our electricity system by more than 20 percent, primarily due to energy efficiency, power plant repowering and meeting Minnesota’s renewable energy requirements.
Now Minnesota has the opportunity to embrace these carbon limits and once again be a leader for the rest of the nation in reducing the impact of carbon emissions and protecting our natural resources and economy.
Learn more about the plan: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards