For Immediate Release, October 29, 2013

Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809,

Chapel Hill, N.C. Joins Urgent Call for National Action on Climate Change

Global Warming Will Worsen State's Extreme Weather, Smog

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.— As the federal government seeks public input on proposals to reduce power plant carbon emissions, Chapel Hill, N.C., has joined more than 70 other U.S. cities in supporting the use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. Chapel Hill’s Town Council, in passing a resolution on Monday, became the 74th community to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

“Climate change poses a grave threat to Chapel Hill’s health and well-being,” said Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison, who introduced the resolution. “That is why we support full and urgent implementation of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.”

2010 was the hottest summer on record in North Carolina, and the state could see summer temperatures rise by as much as 10.5 degrees Fahrenheit in coming years. North Carolina suffered seven billion-dollar weather events in 2011 and 2012, including Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

Twenty-four counties in North Carolina already suffer from unhealthy smog levels, and asthma affects an estimated 211,200 children and 525,900 adults throughout the state. Both smog and asthma are worsened by higher temperatures.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding listening sessions around the country on the creation of Clean Air Act rules to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants.
“As scientists urge the EPA to adopt truly significant power plant carbon pollution rules, resolutions like the one passed by Chapel Hill become even more significant,” said Rose Braz, climate campaign director at the Center. “There’s clearly no time to waste, and the Clean Air Act could be a critical tool in staving off the worse impacts of climate change if it’s used urgently and ambitiously.”

The EPA hearings come in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report that found carbon pollution is heating up the planet and increasing many regions’ danger from heat waves, floods and damaging storms, creating a climate crisis that threatens people and wildlife around the globe.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working across the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and its ability to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The resolutions call on President Barack Obama and the EPA to take swift action to address climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in 73 other U.S. communities: Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Red Hook and Yonkers, N.Y.; Bloomfield and Hartford, Conn.; Albany, Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, Culver City, San Francisco, San Leandro, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Nashville, Tenn.; Kauai and Honolulu, Hawaii; New Hope Borough, Pittsburgh, Carlisle and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Newton, Cambridge, Amherst, Newburyport, Northampton and Concord, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Keene, N.H.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, South Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa, Hallandale Beach, Gulfport, Broward County, Monroe County, St. Petersburg, Key West and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind.; Woodbridge, N.J.; Portland, Maine; Baltimore, Md.; Arlington County and Charlottesville, Va.; and Washington, D.C. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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