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AGU opposes U.S. Supreme Court decision to erode emission regulations

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As leaders of the world’s largest Earth and space science association, we are gravely concerned by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to negate the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce the Clean Air Act. Today’s decision directly undermines the efforts of scientists in our community as well as the science-supported policy that protects the health of our families, our neighbors, and ourselves. The decision has immediate implications for everyone and will have a deep impact on our global scientific community.

Climate change presents a clear threat to human health—a threat that scientists were only beginning to understand when the Clean Air Act was passed to address air pollution in 1963. The changing climate will increase heat-related deaths, mental and physical illnesses, and infectious diseases. It will worsen hazards such as flooding, wildfire, water scarcity, and toxic algae. Economic disruption and health impacts will result from shifts in agricultural and fisheries productivity, diminished worker productivity, damages to critical infrastructure, and more severe weather disasters, including expected increases in drought and hurricane intensities. Economic and social disruption is likely to drive migration and compound risks of conflict and global insecurity.

AGU’s position on climate change is clear: we believe that immediate and coordinated actions to limit and adapt to human-caused climate change are needed to protect human and ecological health, economic well-being, and global security. The only way we can reach the international goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming well below 2°C is for all countries to enforce strict regulations on fossil fuel emissions. Eliminating the ability of the EPA to enforce these regulations is an appalling setback in reaching these goals.

AGU is committed to creating a thriving, sustainable and equitable future supported by scientific discovery, innovation and action. From our initiatives to develop ethical frameworks for climate intervention, to expanding open access and community science, to creating career pathways for scientists from historically unrepresented communities, our work at AGU is directly tied to supporting scientists who are fighting the climate crisis.

We call on everyone in the AGU community to protect, restore and advocate for clean air, clean energy and solutions to climate change to protect the world we cherish.

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