Stay hopeful, we shall overcome! Gina McCarthy and the way to move forward the current debate on environmental policy in the US

At a time when thinking about the state of environmental policy in the United States (US) can be discouraging, it is important to stay hopeful. The way to do this, according to Gina McCarthy, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Obama, is to go back and consider the progress that has been made to get us where we are today. We must remember how far we have come and the victories we have had along the way, as we tend to forget how difficult things have been in the past. It has never been an easy road, and if we lose hope now, then we are giving up on the chance to win the battle. If we work together we can protect what we have accomplished and try to find a way to move forward – we shall overcome!

Gina McCarthy served under President Barack Obama as the 13th Administrator of the EPA from 2013 to 2017. During her tenure as EPA Administrator, she worked to address public health through national environmental policy, as she led EPA initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and reinforced chemical safety. Among many notable accomplishments, McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants in the US, highlighting the country’s commitment to climate action. She is currently the Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University.

Watch Gina McCarthy’s policy keynote lecture “Environmental Policy and the Assault on Science” at the recent World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she draws from her experience as the Former EPA Administrator, and reminds us of the need to stay positive even as environmental policies are under attack by the Trump administration. This is a time of change, and as with every time of change there is great opportunity.

The 6th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists was hosted by the Department of Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, from 25-29 June 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The three regional environmental economics associations – AERE, EAAERE and EAERE – are jointly responsible for WCERE, which is held every four years. See the WCERE website for more information.

Share

Article

Climate Science is Not Negotiable

As a record-breaking heatwave hit Europe, UN climate talks were underway in Bonn, Germany. However, things were not running smoothly: in a highly contentious move, a group of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia refused to “welcome” the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C, citing “scientific gaps” in the report and therefore challenging the scientific basis of future decarbonisation plans. In response, the Alliance of Small Island States has voiced their support of the report and denounced the move as a negation of climate science.

Podcast

Deep into the future planet: The trailer

Join us on a planetary journey that goes deep into the future of innovation, technology, nature, and humanity in search of the best ways to forge a sustainable future.

who will survive
Article

Who Will Survive? A Journey to Climate-Proof Populations

Climate change is exacerbating problems such as habitat loss and extreme temperature fluctuations. With one in four species currently under threat of extinction, understanding which ones are better equipped to adapt, and hence survive, can provide valuable information for conservation efforts and policy choices.