News | April 1, 2023

8 ways SELC addresses climate change

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. While the stakes for our environmental future have never been higher, the opportunities have never been greater — and at SELC, we know the path forward to cut climate-changing pollution, implement solutions that address the crisis, and find ways to minimize climate impacts that could alter our everyday lives and the lives of future generations.  

We’re highlighting eight ways SELC is addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. We hope you’re inspired to think big as you learn more about how we’re combating climate change and protecting our environment in the South and beyond. 

Acting on a historic climate opportunity

The Inflation Reduction Act is the most ambitious climate legislation ever passed in our country’s history. This is a generational opportunity to cut Americans’ energy costs, create good jobs, and address the climate crisis. SELC is already leveraging this moment to set in motion a paradigm shift that will help our region and nation mitigate and adapt to climate change.  


Defending our states’ climate progress

SELC works within each of our states to implement ambitious climate actions at the state legislature. This was the case in 2020 when Virginia became the first state in the South to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and implement Clean Car standards. For the past two years, SELC has defended attacks in the legislature to repeal these climate advancements.  


Stopping biomass that threatens our forests and communities

The carbon-emitting wood pellet industry may have a global reach, but its impacts are felt heavily throughout Southern communities and mature forests that are being clear-cut to feed the increasing demand. That’s why we jumped into action with partners in Adel, Georgia, to set new standards for wood pellet pollution.


Protecting trees and forests

Old growth forests are a key element to combatting climate-changing pollution because they store vast amounts of carbon. Now, SELC and our partners are working to push the Biden administration to better protect trees and forests on public lands.


Tell President Biden to protect old-growth forests.

Cleaning up toxic, flood-prone sites

Toxic sites near bodies of water must be cleaned up as climate change intensifies storms and floods, including coal ash that’s stored on the banks of our rivers and streams. That’s why we filed suit against Alabama Power over the last Southeastern coal ash pond owned by a major utility that’s left in a low-lying coastal area and not already cleaned up or on track to be moved to safe storage.  


Accelerating EVs and curbing carbon pollution from tailpipes

Transportation is our biggest driver of climate change in the country and electric vehicles are a key solution. This fall we took an important step forward in North Carolina when Governor Roy Cooper proposed to establish the Advanced Clean Trucks program that will significantly reduce carbon emissions.


Transitioning away from fossil fuels

SELC is focused on advancing our region toward a cleaner, smarter, and lower carbon energy future by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. That’s why we continue to push the Tennessee Valley Authority to expand investments in solar and oppose its reckless spending on new gas plants and pipelines.  


Protecting wetlands and natural flooding solutions

Wetlands are vital to protecting Southern communities and even more critical as climate change brings more intense storms and flooding. We work to protect these natural flooding solutions, including on the Cainhoy Peninsula outside of Charleston, where a developer wants to destroy hundreds of acres of wetlands that anchor the flood plain.  


Explore our changing coast in the wake of sea level rise.