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Bigger problem: immigration or global warming?

With much attention devoted to Governor Caricieri's immigration plan, not to mention the budget, it's easy to forget about some of the other big issues facing us. One such case is global warming.

According to a report issued earlier this week by Environment Rhode Island and Clean Water Action:

The authors found that global warming emissions in Rhode Island are still drastically far from reaching the voluntary reduction goals set in 2001 when the New England governors agreed to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, 10% below by 2020, and 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050. The report shows the state’s global warming emissions are still exceeding 1990 levels by 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2E), or almost 32%.

 

Furthermore, the report points out that recently Rhode Island’s energy production has dropped, which may seem to indicate energy use has declined in the state.  In fact, consumption has risen and the state is meeting its need for energy by importing more of its fossil fuel based energy from other states in the region, inaccurately depicting a drop in local emissions.

 

“If Rhode Island is serious about protecting our environment and cutting global warming pollution, we need to take strong action now by passing enforceable limits on statewide emissions,” said Agatha Wein, Global Warming Associate for Environment Rhode Island. “The voluntary agreements are not cutting it. We are falling behind, and now is the time to make the reductions necessary.”

 

In order to achieve more substantial reductions in global warming pollution the groups are advocating for the development of a statewide plan to reduce global warming pollution at the rates insisted upon by scientists: 20% reductions by 2020 and 80% reductions by 2050. The Global Warming Solutions Act, a bill that has already been introduced in the General Assembly (H7884 and S2629), will require these reductions across all sectors, while also focusing on clean energy solutions.

Treasurer Frank Caprio has a program planned for Monday evening, at the Save the Bay Center in Providence, to look at the fiscal impact of climate change.

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