Natural Resources Council of Maine wins EPA award for global warming work
Washington, D.C. and Augusta, ME (May 1) —On Tuesday May 1, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) was awarded a 2007 Climate Protection Award from the Climate Protection Partnerships Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, the prestigious award “is given to recognize exceptional leadership, outstanding innovation, personal dedication, and technical achievements in protecting the climate.”
NRCM Executive Director Brownie Carson accepted the award on behalf of NRCM at a ceremony on May 1st in Washington D.C. “I am pleased to accept this award, in recognition of the importance of climate protection for our state, our nation and the world,” says Carson. “NRCM will continue to do all we can to address the global warming issue in Maine, and to set the example for other states and our nation.”
NRCM was selected for its work demonstrating the effects sea-level rise resulting from global warming would have on the Maine coast. With some 3,000 miles of coastline, Maine is especially vulnerable. Thousands of people from across the country and beyond visit Maine each year, its famous rocky coast an important reason why. Much of the state’s $3.5 billion annual tourism economy is at risk with rising sea levels, since large portions of coastal towns that help generate that income would be destroyed by rising sea levels. Also at stake are hundreds of miles of roads as well as municipal and state facilities such as water treatment plants. Maine’s largest private employer, Bath Iron Works, would also be flooded, as would President Bush’s family home on Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport.
The EPA is also acknowledging NRCM’s work to prevent extreme sea-level rise scenarios from becoming reality. The organization is providing a way for people to make a difference individually by participating in NRCM’s Maine Global Warming Challenge, which invites citizens to join together to cut two million pounds of global warming pollution in Maine by Earth Day 2008.
NRCM, the state’s leading environmental advocacy organization 11,000 supporters strong, is also being recognized for providing leadership on key climate protection legislation, including a program, currently being considered in the Legislature, which would reduce global warming pollution from power plants in ten northeast states.
NRCM’s work on this regional program is one more piece in the organization’s long history of setting an example at the national level and helping pass global warming legislation that benefits the economy, the environment, and the health of Maine families. NRCM was instrumental in passing Maine’s first-in-the-nation law that set state goals for reducing global warming pollution. As a result, NRCM participated in four stakeholder groups that devised the state’s 55-point plan to cut Maine’s contribution to global warming.
NRCM also campaigned to pass global warming pollution standards for new cars and trucks sold in Maine. Forty percent (40%) of Maine’s global warming pollution comes from cars and trucks. By 2016, Maine’s standards will reduce this pollution by 30% below the 2002 fleet.
Through publications, advertisements, and public appearances, NRCM has worked extensively to get the word out about the global warming problem and effective solutions.
“As a result of NRCM’s efforts, citizens of Maine are taking action on climate change – and leading others to do the same,” says Kathleen Hogan, Director of the EPA’s Climate Protection Partnerships Division.
Candidates for the EPA’s Climate Protection Award are selected from all over the world. The EPA says winners are chosen based originality and public purpose; persuasive, moral, or organizational leadership; global perspective and implication, and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA assembles an international panel of judges from government, industry, and non-governmental sectors. The panel advises, and the EPA makes the final selections.
In addition to NRCM, winners for 2007 include Robert Redford, Staples, and 11 other individuals, businesses, and organizations from around the globe. Past winners include outstanding individuals, dedicated companies, forward-thinking organizations, and government institutions from 16 countries—Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden, and others.