SACE just released updated, state-specific fact sheets detailing the impacts that climate change is having on six Southeast states. The new fact sheets are available for Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, in PDF format and webpages. Check out the new fact sheets here!
Recurring themes throughout all the states include the incidence of crippling drought; unreliable winter weather, including crop-killing freezes; flooding and sea level rise for the coastal states. More sepcifically, some of the impacts we’ve already witnessed in the Southeast that are projected to increase due to global warming include reduced generation at times of need at power plants due to lack of cooling water, damage to our states’ heritage foods and agricultural sectors (with natural disaster zones declared in all six states for impacts to agriculture in recent years), and droughts so bad that one town in Tennessee completely ran out of fresh water. These examples of climate change impacts are consistent with the findings of the updated National Climate Assessment, released earlier this year, which stated that the biggest impacts to the Southeast are threats from sea level rise, extreme heat, and decreased water availability.
Another recurring theme among each of these states is the significant potential for clean energy development which would lessen the amount of pollution driving the climate change. Energy efficiency, solar and wind power are essentially untapped markets that become ever-more attractive as the technology advances and prices continue to drop. For example, with modern wind technology, we now have about 134,000 MW of wind potential in the Southeast, which is about half of the currently installed electrical capacity in the Southeast.
We have a historic opportunity to address these terrible impacts through the recently-released draft rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants. These rules would reduce the global-warming-causing carbon pollution from power plants by 30% by 2030. If you have not yet submitted your comments to support these rules, please do so TODAY! We’ve made it easy for you to submit comments and share the opportunity with your friends and networks via our online comment submission portal. Please take 30 seconds and do this today, in advance of the December 1 deadline.