Free Interactive Report
Climate Action and Climate Justice in the US
By 2030, UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, Climate Action, aims to take urgent action to successfully combat climate change and its impacts. This includes taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and energy-efficient technologies. It also means supporting the communities and populations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which includes increasingly frequent extreme weather events and their disproportionately disastrous consequences for marginalized populations.
2021 was the 4th hottest year on record for the US (only 2012, 2016 and 2017 were hotter). The top six warmest years have all occurred since 2012. Exposure to extreme heat kills more people in the U.S. than any other weather-related threat. Heat-related illness and death are not distributed evenly across the population, with the very old and very young, pregnant women, the chronically ill, minorities, low-income families, people experiencing homelessness, and people who work outdoors the most at risk.
“Global warming” refers to the increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature due to a build-up of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, while “climate change” refers to global warming’s impact – such as more frequent and intense extreme weather events and changes in local climate conditions. Both have far-reaching consequences on important systems supporting human wellbeing - including food and water resources, energy and transportation, public health, international trade, and national security.
Use the tool below to view climate change related indicators nationally or by state, as well as an overview of the more than 4,000 nonprofits organizations that work on addressing related issues in the US. You can also discover 324 products and services in our Tech for Good Directory related to greenhouse gas emissions, clean energy, carbon footprints, natural disasters and other key areas for addressing climate change.
Interactive Report Notes:
* Extreme heat days in this report represent days in the relative 90th temperature percentile calculated by the CDC
** Billion-dollar disasters are weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. These include droughts, floods, freezes, severe storms, tropical cyclones, wildfires, and winter storms
- Billion-dollar disasters: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2021)
- Energy sources for electricity generation: GC Insights analysis of U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2002 to 2020.
- Total and per capita CO2 emission: EIA, State Energy Data System 2021
- Extreme Heat Days: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
- Nonprofit-related data: GC Insights analysis of over one million forms 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service -IRS 2018-2020
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – The Paris Agreement
- The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – Climate Science Q&A
- The Center for American Progress – States Are Laying a Road Map for Climate Leadership
- U.S. Global Change Research Program – Fourth National Climate Assessment
- The Hill – Killer climate
- Bloomberg – Heat and Inequality
- Climate Central – Seniors At Risk: Heat & Climate Change
- Union of Concerned Scientists – Vulnerable Populations
- NOAA – Record number of billion-dollar disasters
- NOAA – Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview
- National Weather Service – Heat Index
- NRDC – Race to 100% Clean
- EIA – U.S. electricity generation by energy source
- EPA – Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks
- NRDC – Greenhouse Effect 101
- SDG Tracker – SDG 13