Great Lakes Pennsylvania Solutions
• Climate in the Region
• The Report
• Technical Background
• For Teachers
• Migrating Climates
• Water Resources
• Sense of Place
• Solutions where we Live
• Reducing our Emissions
• Managing our Response
• Ten Personal Solutions
Climate Change in Pennsylvania
Climate Change Solutions
Three complementary approaches are needed to address the challenges that a changing climate poses to Pennsylvania:
Reduce heat-trapping emissions
Pennsylvania has taken the lead with 12 other states to enact a minimum renewable electricity standard. Pennsylvania has also taken the lead in establishing a green house gas registry by requiring large carbon dioxide emitters to report emission levels to the Department of Natural Resources. Many other emitters have also voluntarily reported emissions in order to receive future credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And finally, citizens of Pennsylvania may choose their utility company, allowing consumers the chance to elect utilities that provide "green" power generated from renewable resources.
These steps, along with the state climate change action plan, are the first in implementing energy policies that promote renewable energy. Policy at the national level would also support the development of renewable energy sources, further encouraging investment in energy-efficient technologies and cleaner burning fossil fuels. These global warming solutions have several other valuable benefits including cleaner air, economic development, and job growth.
In 2003, New York's Governor George E. Pataki initiated a solutions process with a regional scope-currently known as The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI or "ReGGIe"). RGGI is a cooperative effort by 9 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (one of the primary heat-trapping gasses). The RGGI participating states—with Pennsylvania currently included as an observer—will be developing a regional strategy for controlling greenhouse gases, which are not bound by state or national borders. Central to the initiative is the implementation of a multi-state cap-and-trade program, with a market-based emissions trading system. The proposed program, which will require electric power generators in participating states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, is planned to be designed by April 2005.
To learn more about these and other solutions download Reducing Heat-Trapping Emissions in Great Lakes Region.
For Additional Information from UCS, see
Minimize human pressures on the environment
Although there are many steps we can take to reduce the severity of climate change, some changes are already underway and will continue for decades or more. Therefore, society must begin planning and preparing to manage future impacts that cannot be avoided. Such actions include: protecting wetlands—which provide key flood control services and improve local water quality; examining adaption options in the local fisheries, agricultural and forestry practices, as well as improvements in the health care system to accommodate changes in the climate and environment.
Changes in climate variability and weather extremes will need to be taken into consideration when implementing emergency management plans, zoning, and building codes. Resources will be needed to provide increased relief from the heat to the very young, the poor, and those whose health is already compromised. Such measures are particularly important in urban areas. These and other steps for planning for climate change in the Great Lakes region are highlighted in Managing the Impacts.
For a graphical overview of various solution options, please see the Solutions where we Live feature.
More on Pennsylvania:
Introduction | Climate Projections | Agriculture | Human Health | Property and Infrastructure | Recreation & Tourism | Water Supply & Pollution | Climate Solutions | Resources & Links
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Canvasback -- National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Pennsylvania Farm -- Courtesy of USDA.
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