About climate change in Pennsylvania

Currently the third-largest greenhouse gas-emitting state, Pennsylvania is, as of January, also near the top in a much more desirable ranking: We are currently the second-largest state with a climate change target. Last month, Gov. Wolf announced via executive order that the commonwealth will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050—an ambitious goal that will require significant policy support to drive development of renewables and to increase electric vehicle use.

Learn more here.

We don't have to choose between jobs and the environment.

“[Climate change] is an issue that should not be driven by partisan politics and empty rhetoric, or a false choice between jobs and the environment,” says Gov. Wolf. “Rather, we should be focused on implementing balanced policies to protect our environment, create good paying jobs in the energy sector and grow our economy.”

On July 9, 2008, the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act was signed into law. The act provides for, among other things, the establishment of the Climate Change Advisory Committee and a climate change action plan detailing climate change impacts and economic opportunities for the Commonwealth. This is law in Pennsylvania.

Read the Climate Change Act.

Climate change means higher tides along the Delaware River: Sea level is rising more rapidly along Pennsylvania’s shoreline than in most coastal areas because the Delaware Valley is sinking. If the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, the tidal portion of the Delaware River is likely to rise 1 to 4 feet in the next century. What this means on the ground: Parts of the Philadelphia airport will likely be swamped, as will parts of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods to the north.

Learn more here.

Our climate has already changed: Pennsylvania has warmed more than half a degree Fahrenheit in the last century, heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the tidal portion of the Delaware River is rising about 1 inch every 8 years.

Click for more from the EPA.

“Pennsylvania” literally means Penn’s Woods. When William Penn settled Pennsylvania in the 1600s, lush plants and dense forests blanketed 90 percent of the state. Abundant wildlife inhabited the lands and waters. Today, that landscape has changed dramatically and will continue to, with climate change. Even small changes can have an outsized effect: For instance, warmer temperatures will encourage deer populations to increase, leading to a loss of forest underbrush, which, in turn, will make some animals more vulnerable to predators.

Read "Climate change is affecting northeastern Pennsylvania"