Major Climate Report Confirms Need to Cut Dangerous Fossil Fuel Pollution—Before It’s Too Late

WASHINGTON – The United States is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, on average, than it was a century ago and will warm at least another 3 degrees, and perhaps much more, by 2100, unless the world moves swiftly to cut its use of coal, oil and gas. That’s the consensus of 13 federal agencies, as released Friday in the 4th National Climate Assessment.

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:

“From the floods that swamp our coastlines to the droughts that bake our crops, from the fires on the mountains to the coral dying at sea, America is telling us every way it can that it’s time to cut the fossil fuel pollution that’s driving global climate change - before it’s too late.

“Says who? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the gold standard for what’s happening to our climate. The Environmental Protection Agency, the guardian of the nation’s environment and health. The National Aeronautics & Space Administration, the folks who put a man on the moon. The Pentagon. The State Department. The National Science Foundation and seven other federal agencies, coming together to issue the most authoritative report ever on the rising toll climate change is taking on American families and communities.

“This is our report, for our time, and the message is crystal clear: climate change is not a political football—it’s an existential threat to our nation and our people.

“It’s time for every public servant, and every citizen, to read this report and think about what it means for our prosperity, our security and our very way of life. It’s time for those who represent us at the state, local and federal levels to lead the fight against climate change or get behind those who do. It’s time to cut our carbon pollution today so our kids don’t inherit climate catastrophe tomorrow."

A blog on the 4th National Climate Assessment will be posted here by Kim Knowlton, NRDC senior scientist and co-convening lead author of the Human Health chapter of the 3rd National Climate Assessment.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.