What is Climate Change?
Our Earth is warming. Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather.
The evidence is clear. Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate. Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves and wildfires.
The planet's oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes – oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising. As these and other changes become more pronounced in the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and our environment.
Climate change affects everyone, but it particularly impacts those without the resources to adapt. Pollution from transportation, for example, disproportionately affects underserved communities and people of color. These same communities are frequently excluded from the conversation of finding solutions to climate change.
The Agency is looking closely at one such solution: electric vehicles. In 2018, we studied low-income communities’ access to electric car-sharing, a service that allows drivers to use a shared vehicle for short-term rentals. Working with nine affordable housing organizations, we surveyed over 600 people about their daily transportation needs and knowledge of electric vehicle transportation.