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Report: Act Now on Global Warming

If human activity is driving global warming, then human activity can start to reverse it, according to a new report from Environment Illinois proposing policies for the state to cut global warming emissions.

“We’re hearing a lot of gloom and doom lately,” said Rebecca Stanfield of Environmental Illinois. “But the flip side is that it’s really not that hard to get started [reversing climate trends]. We know about these policies, other states are doing them, they’re good for the economy and for air quality, so we should just do them.”

The Illinois Global Warming Blueprint offers thirteen strategies to reduce global-warming pollution in Illinois, including investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; establishing clean car standards and stronger energy codes for buildings and appliances; and expanding transportation options.

Legislation embodying proposals from the report will be introduced in coming days in Springfield, Stanfield said.

The biggest source of global-warming emissions in the state is coal-fired power plants, which account for 38 percent of carbon dioxide pollution in Illinois. Emissions from coal plants increased by over 50 percent — significantly more than any other source — between 1990 and 2002, according to the report.

Some of the state’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants will be retired under a recent agreement between power companies and the state to reduce mercury emissions, Stanfield said. But with the cost of natural gas rising, 14 new coal plants have been proposed for the state.

Illinois should limit CO2 emissions from existing coal plants – as eight northeastern states have already done – and should declare a moratorium on new plants, the report argues.

“You can’t say you’re for solving global warming and be issuing permits for new [coal] plants,” Stanfield said. “You can’t do both.”

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Category: climate change

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