Every day, the Union of Concerned Scientists and our member community show that when we stick together, fight for science, and let experts lead the way, we can make meaningful progress on the issues we care deeply about. Here are a few examples of the impact our members helped us achieve this year.
• UCS research and advocacy informed game-changing U.S. climate law. After decades of advocacy for a national plan to address climate change, legislation that invests billions to reduce heat-trapping emissions is now law. The multi-faceted Inflation Reduction Act includes green initiatives such as investing $20 billion to help the nation’s farmers respond to climate change, providing tax credits for businesses and individuals purchasing electric vehicles, and creating a roadmap to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. This historic policy is a stepping stone to more progress for a climate-safe future for all.
• Thanks to more than a decade of UCS groundwork, Big Oil is finally being held accountable. With a letter citing UCS research, the House Oversight Committee summoned the CEOs of BP America, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell (among others) to testify in front of Congress in a series of hearings they titled “Fueling the Climate Crisis: Big Oil’s Disinformation Campaign.” UCS’s work has been critical for taking on big oil in the courts as well: of 29 major lawsuits that have been filed against fossil fuel companies, 21 cite our research.
• UCS helped lead a nation-wide wave towards clean transportation at the state level. Legislatures in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington have pushed through green transportation bills. UCS has been an integral part of those efforts, providing expert consultation and, in California, co-facilitating a group working to ensure that the state’s investments in charging infrastructure directly benefit lower-income communities and communities of color.
• UCS research on extreme heat was critical to advancing worker protections. UCS scientists and policy experts released a report titled “Too Hot to Work,” which detailed the risks outdoor workers face from heat exposure. In response to the report and mounting pressure from UCS and others, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) founded a National Emphasis on Heat Program, instituting many of the measures and legal protections recommended by our report.
While our work to address the climate crisis is far from over, these victories provide models for future work and are key achievements in our progress toward a clean energy future. UCS will continue leading the way on climate solutions by advocating for scientifically achievable ways to reduce carbon emissions and pushing federal and state policymakers to take strong climate action.