The Urgency of the Climate Challenge

Achieving the ambitious goal of reducing emissions requires tried and tested policies, international cooperation, ecosystem stewardship and inclusive governance. These efforts can be accelerated by local governments. Keeping global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius will require all countries to rapidly decarbonize their economies and remove carbon from the atmosphere. This is a moral imperative and an economic necessity. Climate…

Climate Change and Public Health

Climate change impacts health by changing people’s exposure to hazards (environmental factors) and their ability to adapt or respond to them (personal factors). Health threats include exacerbated or worsening preexisting medical conditions, increased stressors, and new problems like heat-related illnesses and flooding. Communities of color, low income and immigrant groups often experience disproportionate impacts from climate change. A community centered,…

The Impact of Deforestation on Climate Change

Large swaths of the world’s forests are cleared every year to make way for commodity crops like beef and palm oil. This deforestation releases massive amounts of GHGs and also alters local and global precipitation patterns, making it a major contributor to climate change. The modeled temperature response to deforestation in high, mid and low latitudes is consistent with previous…

The Role of Government in Combating Climate Change

Climate change is a global issue that requires global action. Governments must provide leadership and implement policies that encourage societal change. They must also respect ecosystems that play key roles in the fight against climate change. For example, forests absorb carbon and wetlands protect coastlines. Government agencies must consider how their mission and climate actions can benefit each other. This…

The Future of Climate Change

Scientists have observed dramatic changes in global temperatures over the last several decades. They also know that if we continue on our present course, future temperatures are likely to rise much higher. There is high confidence that a world warming two degrees will lead to increased risks from weather disasters such as wildfires, coastal flooding and inland flash floods; reduced…

Climate Solutions Every City Should Implement

In cities across the United States, cities and towns are taking action to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change impacts and address environmental justice concerns. Cities have been leading the way in sustainability and climate innovation, and their climate action plans serve as a blueprint for tackling these issues at scale. NLC examined 50 recent city plans and…

How Cities Can Address the Climate Challenge

As global warming threatens to wreak havoc on the planet, governments, businesses and citizens are taking action to fight the problem. But it will take more than a shift in energy consumption habits and demands from leaders to bring the world to a sustainable future. One way to help reduce climate change is to improve scientific literacy and inspire young…

Surviving the Climate Challenge

Climate change is already wreaking havoc on the planet, from hurricanes and melting polar ice to escalating food and water crises. And if we don’t tackle this challenge now, it will only get worse. We must keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, which is a tipping point at which small changes have profound impacts on life as we know…

Understanding the Climate Challenge

Climate change is a natural process. There are many natural factors that influence climate, such as the sun’s intensity and volcanic eruptions. However, it is now obvious that the climatic warming seen in the last century is a product of human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, the most important of these gases, traps extra heat…

Why Planting Trees is Key to Fighting Climate Change

Planting trees is one of the simplest ways to fight climate change. It’s also a solution that appeals to a broad range of people, and is supported by a number of scientists. Trees store carbon dioxide, which is one of the main culprits of global warming. They also release oxygen, which keeps the air clean. 1. They Store Carbon Trees…