New England Must Tackle Worsening Climate

Opinion piece author sees slow but steady shift in the region's climate underway.

Published: 15-Mar-2004

THIS WINTER has been a strange one -- periods of extreme cold followed by unseasonable warmth. While some may consider this a "good old fashioned winter," it bears little resemblance to those of the 1950s or '60s. Scientists and policymakers alike are concerned that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are having an increasingly significant impact on our regional and global climate.

A conference beginning today at Suffolk University Law School and organized by the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers highlights this concern. The conference will explore the environmental and economic dangers that a changing climate poses and will consider how we can adapt to the changes so as to minimize their impacts.

While adapting to climate changes may be inevitable, it should not be our only response to the overuse of fossil fuels. The governors and premiers should also focus on how to reduce such use through greater energy efficiency and developing renewable energy, as they promised to do in their 2001 agreement (setting goals of cutting regional greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and eventually to 75-85 percent below 1990 levels).



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