Carbon reduction
With an average global temperature of about 61 degrees F, 2015 is our hottest year on record. The three warmest years since records began in 1880 – 2015, 2014 and 2010 – have occurred in the past five years, and nine out of the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 2000. The adverse effects of global warming are well documented. The direct relationship between man’s hydrocarbon emissions and climate change is unchallenged by nearly every scientist. Although this relationship has been known for decades, many claim not enough has been done at the national level to reduce excessive airborne carbon. However, some attempts at carbon reduction have occurred on other levels. In 1997, representatives from 38 industrialized nations met in Japan to tackle our global warming problem. The results of these negotiations were the Kyoto Protocol Accords, an international agreement to reduce emissions 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Our Senate chose not to participate in this agreement and nations have been unable to agree on a plan to significantly reduce carbon emissions since Kyoto’s expiration.

President Obama’s recent landmark agreement with China to cap its emissions at 2030 levels, and to jointly curb emissions in both countries, is seen as a first step in reducing greenhouse gasses as well as putting pressure on India to participate in such efforts. In addition, many states have enacted “green” programs and policies. However scientists still warn we are not doing enough to avoid the consequences of climate change. Some say our focus seems to be shifting from preventing climate change to adapting to it. Many scientists believe that our carbon emissions must be cut in half by 2050 in order to prevent global temperatures from increasing by more than four degrees Fahrenheit. A larger increase would be catastrophic to many parts of the world. Environmentalists claim most of our industries have resisted reducing emissions. Industry representatives say that carbon reduction can only be accomplished with significant costs to consumers. Advocates also say individuals can significantly reduce carbon emissions by increasing the use of insulation materials and energy-efficient lights and appliances, and by reducing the use of vehicles, heated water and climate control systems powered by carbon emitters.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.1971 - Climate Solutions Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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