Worsening climate, more widespread impacts absent drastic cuts in GHGs: Report

Washington, DC – Today, the White House released the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) that shows the climate crisis is upon us and impacting every community and person across the country. Since the NCA4 in 2018, improvements in scientific research have made even clearer the impact of our greenhouse gas emissions on global warming and the linkage between extreme weather disasters and climate change.

Over the last three years, the Biden-Harris Administration has made historic investments in clean energy through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, and today announced more than $6 billion in funding to strengthen grid resiliency, advance environmental justice, and help mitigate flood risk. These investments are crucial for reaching our climate goals, but deeper and more drastic emissions reductions are required by the United States, and globally, or the impacts of the climate crisis will become increasingly more severe and widespread.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“The alarm clock on the climate crisis has been blaring for years, and today’s assessment makes clear our leaders can no longer continue to hit the snooze button. This should serve as a massive wake-up call for all who remain willfully ignorant of the impacts of this looming disaster – especially those in the halls of power who appear eager to turn a blind eye to the evidence before them. The assessment shows that this crisis threatens us all, will continue to cost us billions of dollars a year, and confirms that the degree to which this looming catastrophe might worsen remains entirely in human hands. We will decide our own fate, and the time of inaction or half-measures must end. Steep reductions in methane and carbon dioxide emissions, along with a rapid buildout of clean energy and electrification, is the only path forward to avoid the very worst of this. The United States must lead by example, and COP28 can be the stage upon which we show the world that we take this threat seriously and will act boldly.”

Source: “Fifth National Climate Assessment Shows Massive Scope of Climate Threat, Dire Consequences of Inaction,” Nov. 14, 2023 Sierra Club press release.

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