5 Environmental Policies In Urgent Need Of A Facelift

As our winters grow warmer, storms become stronger, and more and more environmental challenges arise, one thing has never been more apparent: government involvement is critical to addressing the climate crisis. 

The need to combat climate change and preserve our planet's resources is overwhelming and has never been more crucial. However, despite improvements in environmental legislation over the years, several policies in the United States still need work, to put it simply. Let's take a look at five environmental policies that urgently require reform.


Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Despite the detrimental impact of fossil fuels on the environment and public health, the U.S. government continues to subsidize this industry to the tune of billions of dollars annually. 

These subsidies distort the market by artificially lowering the cost of fossil fuel production and consumption, hindering the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources like solar and wind power. Reforming these subsidies to redirect funds towards renewable energy initiatives would help accelerate the shift towards a low-carbon economy.


Lax Regulations On Industrial Pollution

It’s no secret many environmental regulations in the United States often prioritize industry profits over public health and environmental conservation. No thanks to loopholes and lax enforcement, corporations can pollute waterways, release harmful chemicals into the environment, and destroy natural habitats with little to no consequences. More industry regulations are needed that hold manufacturers accountable and protect the well-being of communities and ecosystems.


Inadequate Protection Of Public Lands

America's public lands, including national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges, are invaluable natural treasures that provide vital ecosystem services, recreational opportunities, and habitat for biodiversity. However, these lands face growing threats from development, resource extraction, and climate change. 

Policies like the proposed Public Lands Rule from the U.S. The Bureau of Land Management can strengthen protections for public lands, expand conservation efforts, and address the impacts of climate change, which are essential to ensure their preservation for future generations.


Weak Policies On Renewable Energy Deployment

While renewable energy technologies have significantly advanced in recent years, outdated policies and regulatory barriers hinder widespread adoption and integration into the energy grid. 

We need new policies that streamline permit processes for renewable energy projects and, even better, provide incentives for investing in clean energy infrastructure. 

Fortunately, organizations like The Clean Coalition are on a mission to pioneer significant policy innovations to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Through initiatives like its Community Microgrids project, their passion and work demonstrate that progress is indeed attainable in the fight against climate change despite the existing barriers.


Limited Action On Climate Change

Despite overwhelming scientific consensus on the urgency of addressing climate change, the United States still needs to catch up on updating policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of global warming. For example, economists have long recommended the United States government follow its international peers' suit and establish a federal carbon tax. Now more than ever, rejoining climate agreements and setting new emission reduction targets is critical if we hope to create a greener future. 


By prioritizing sustainability, equity, and resilience in policy-making, the United States can lead the transition toward a greener, healthier, and more prosperous future for all. To learn more about how the government responds to climate change and its plans for the future or discover ways to make a difference on your own, visit the EPA website.