Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon recently wrote that 2014 should be “The Year of Climate Action.” He is absolutely right. The devastating threats of global climate change are increasing in scope and complexity with each passing year.
As we look forward to 2014 and prepare for the big fights to come – not least of which will be urging the EPA to propose the strongest possible standards to limit global warming pollution from existing power plants – we have daunting challenges ahead. But, given our recent record of historic victories, I know that our combined actions are making a huge difference. Together, we are changing the world and making this a better, healthier, cleaner planet.
Here are just some of the ways our combined actions helped EDF make landmark progress in 2013.
50,000+ helped secure $2.5 billion for Gulf Coast restoration
Thanks in part to the actions of more than 50,000 EDF activists, the Department of Justice, BP, and Transocean agreed to direct over $2.5 billion in criminal fines to a Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration trust fund administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Federation. Half of that, $1.25 billion, will go to restoring Louisiana’s barrier islands and building new river diversions that will allow sediment-laden Mississippi river water to once again reach its coastal wetlands, restoring its now-dying delta.
35,000+ stood up to coal lobby attacks
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), funded by the coal lobby, waged a state-by-state attack on clean energy, pushing legislation that would have gutted state renewable energy standards. 35,479 of you stood up to them, and together we beat back nearly all of the ALEC attacks across the country.
Thousands more supported critical work in progress
When President Obama announced his Climate Action plan, which would, among other things, reduce pollution from our power plants, 72,464 activists thanked the president for his leadership. Power plants are responsible for 40% of emissions in the United States, so it’s no surprise that an additional 41,342 of you supported EPA’s proposed nationwide carbon pollution standards for new fossil fuel power plants, a first in the nation.
Hundreds of thousands of EDF activists generated more than 1 million comments and emails in 2013 – holding our officials accountable and promoting environmental progress and innovation. If you were one of them, you have my sincere gratitude. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved, I hope the work we’ve done and victories we’ve achieved encourage you to join us for the work we’ll do in the year ahead.
You absolutely can make a difference. In fact, you absolutely ARE making a difference. Let’s keep it up in 2014.