With these facts in mind, and given our legal obligation to the American people, EPA is releasing a proposal to limit carbon pollution from future power plants.
Today's proposal applies only to future power plants, and sets separate national limits for natural gas-fired power plants and coal-fired power plants.
New large natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour.
New coal-fired units would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour or, to provide plants the flexibility and time to optimize technologies, between 1,000 and 1,050 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour on average over 84 months of operation.
These levels are achievable by using partial carbon capture and sequestration, a proven technology that is being used right now to support the development of both new conventional and new unconventional coal plants.
These proposed standards would minimize carbon pollution by taking advantage of modern, cleaner energy technologies that power companies are already using to build the next generation of power plants. This is exactly what the Clean Air Act requires.
Without these steps we will continue to pay an ever-increasing price for climate impacts. In 2012 alone, the cost of weather disasters exceeded $110 billion in the United States, the second costliest year on record.
Beyond the costs of property destruction and disaster relief, there are significant public health risks and costs from climate change. Warmer temperatures spurred by carbon pollution worsen smog and pollen levels. This can lead to more asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. The nation's
Time to Act on Climate Change
Posted: 09/20/2013 6:00 am
Administrator, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency
didn't plan for a life built around protecting the environment. In fact, I started my career as a health agent in the town of Canton, Mass., and later worked for the Stoughton Board of Health. But at some point I realized that at its core, the issue of a clean environment is a matter of public health. The two are inextricably linked.
That's why, when President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan earlier this year, he talked about the health of our children when laying out his strategy to take responsible steps to cut carbon pollution.
As part of that plan, the president directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to "complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants." That directive rests on legal authority our agency was granted by Congress through passing the Clean Air Act back in 1970. In 2007, the Supreme Court underscored that authority when it definitively determined that carbon pollution is covered by the Clean Air Act.
Among scientists, there is near universal agreement that climate change is happening, it's human caused, and it's a threat to our health and welfare.
The 12 hottest years on record have come in the last 15. Last year was the warmest year ever in the contiguous United States; sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record and about one-third of all Americans experienced 10 days or more of 100-degree heat.
We know that carbon pollution is the most prevalent heat-trapping greenhouse gas, warming our planet and fueling climate change. In 2011, power plants and major industrial facilities in the United States emitted over 3 billion metric tons of carbon pollution, which is equal to annual pollution from over 640 million cars. Annually in the U.S., carbon pollution from power plants accounts for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, or 40 percent of total
union IndustriALL and the Bangladeshi government. Topshop, Gap and Walmart, however, have not yet done so.
War on Want is urging the public to apply pressure on retailers over the accord and compensation.
Tesco and other leading brands, including Primark, Gap, Monsoon, Accessorize, Marks & Spencer, and Asda, belong to the Ethical Trading Initiative and have signed up to a code of conduct that includes support of a living wage. But the wage aspect, Amin will stress, has failed to materialise, and, he says, more pressure is needed.
"The Rana Plaza disaster not only exposed unsafe conditions for workers turning out British stores' clothes, but the pittance on which they struggle to survive. It is high time UK retail chains, and other companies sourcing from Bangladesh, matched ethical claims with action to lift their suppliers' workers out of poverty."
In advance of his arrival, the NGWF's partner, the charity War on Want, is publishing a report entitled The Living Wage: Winning the fight for social justice, which cites evidence that a living wage benefits workers, employers and also wider economies.
The report points to the success of the Alta Gracia factory in the Dominican Republic, reportedly the world's only supplier producing clothes for a mainstream brand that is also paying its workers a living wage.
The report comes amid news that Conservative policy advocates want David Cameron to promise a higher minimum wage during his speech at the party's conference in the coming weeks.
Labour's shadow Treasury team is considering whether to say that living wage zones would be established if they won power at the next election.
Meanwhile, War on Want is demanding full compensation in relation to the Bangladesh disaster, for victims' bereaved families and injured workers, before a two-day meeting in Geneva this week hosted by the International Labour Organisation.
More than 40 brands were linked to the Dhaka factory that collapsed, including the retailers Benetton, Matalan and Bonmarché as well as Primark.
Now, more than 50 brands have signed up to a legally binding building safety agreement backed by the international trade union IndustriALL and the Banglad
Bangladeshi union chief brings living wage campaign to London fashion week
Clothing retailers urged to back anti-poverty drive five months after 1,129 people died in factory collapse near Dhaka
Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent
The Guardian, Friday 6 September 2013
A worker cuts the thread on shirt on the production line of the Fashion Enterprise garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A union leader representing millions of poverty stricken Bangladeshi garment workers is to use London fashion week to confront Britain's top fashion retailers and clothing brands and urge them to support fresh demands for all employees to be paid a living wage.
Nearly five months after 1,129 people died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Amirul Haque Amin, president of the National Garment Workers' Federation, will join forces with British union campaigners to highlight the plight of workers in the global fashion industry.
Amin, who arrives in Britain on Friday, will address delegates at the TUC's annual conference on Monday, alongside Heather Wakefield, who heads the local government service group of Britain's largest public service union, Unison. He plans to take the same message to London's high-profile annual fashion week which starts on 13 September.
The link between cheap fashion in Britain's shops and shockingly poor worker conditions was again highlighted following the collapse of the eight-storey Rana Plaza garment manufacturing building.
Amin will use his visit to persuade UK retailers to pay a wage far in excess of the £25 (3,000 taka) a month earned by the Rana Plaza workers.
He will contrast the hardship endured by millions of Bangladeshi garment workers with the multi-million pound profits accumulated by retailers such as Topshop and Tesco, which (the latter through its F & F clothing range) sponsor London fashion week.
Tesco and other leading brands, includin
Sometimes, getting out the house and going to Starbucks with your laptop is the only way to get work and emails done. @StarbucksCanada