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Conclusions and Recommendations

Weather-related disasters impose

massive costs on the nation and

threaten the health and survival

both of people affected by those events

and of treasured ecosystems. Recent

scientific findings about the potential

impacts of global warming on extreme

weather provide yet another reason for

the United States and the world to take

action against global warming.

Among the steps that can be taken

to protect Americans from the threat

of global warming-induced extreme

weather events are the following:

Federal and state governments

should adopt and implement limits

on global warming pollution capable

of reducing emissions by at least 35

percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and

by at least 85 percent by 2050, and

implement the clean energy solutions

needed to make these reductions a

reality. These emission reductions are

broadly consistent with what science

tells us is necessary to lessen the most

costly and devastating consequences of

global warming.

Federal, state and local governments

should adopt and implement public

policies designed to move the nation

away from our dependence on fossil

fuels while building momentum for

future comprehensive action to curb

global warming pollution. Specifically,

federal, state and local governments

should:

• Take strong steps to clean up existing

sources of pollution. The

federal government should impose

strong limits on emissions of carbon

dioxide and other pollutants from

fossil fuel-fired power plants, while

governments at all levels should work

to expand and strengthen carbon

cap-and-trade programs such as the

pioneering Regional Greenhouse Gas

Initiative in the Northeast.

• Adopt aggressive energy efficiency

standards for buildings, appliances,

38 In the Path of the Storm

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