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Plastic and Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet

January 28, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Presented by Steven Feit, attorney with the Center for International Environmental Law, live from Washington DC

The severity of the plastic pollution crisis that overwhelms our oceans is now clear and obvious. It has been at the heart of investigative journalism, international agreements, and legislation to address the way society produces and consumes single use plastics and manages the resulting waste. While graphic images of millions of tons of plastic waste in our oceans show the environmental degradation that threatens billions of dollars of industry, food security and human health, far less is known about the cumulative climate impacts of plastic production.

The untold story of emissions from plastic proliferation is the subject of the 2019 report Plastic & Climate produced by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). We are delighted to announce Steven Feit, attorney in CIEL’s Climate and Energy Program, as our January 28 speaker.

At current levels of production, the greenhouse gas emissions released at each stage of the plastic lifecycle threatens the success of global efforts to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C. The report finds that by 2050, the greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production could reach over 56 gigatons – 10-13 percent of the entire remaining carbon budget. With the petrochemical and plastic industries planning a massive expansion in production, both the pollution and climate impacts are expected to worsen. The goal of the report is to raise awareness about the emissions profile of a critical and rapidly expanding segment of the petrochemical industry that threatens to undermine net emission reductions from the electric and transportation sectors. Good grief!

The “Plastic & Climate” report, released in May 2019 highlights the sources of emissions associated with extraction, transportation, mining and manufacturing, and waste management; and reviews the early science concerning emissions releases from plastics in the environment.

MAREA is pleased to have Steven share his insights with us on Tuesday, January 28, at 7:00 on the big screen at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, between Kutztown and Allentown). His live and interactive presentation will highlight key findings of the report, making clear the connection between plastic and climate.

MAREA meetings are free and open to the public. All are invited! After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there.

New! To watch online, go to zoom.us/j/205658334

For first-timers, please see TEK Park Directions for map and parking directions. (Signs for parking are posted about 30-min before event starts.) Any questions, call (484) 646-3295. Welcome!

Speaker Bio: Steven Feit is an attorney in CIEL’s Climate and Energy Program. Steven’s work focuses primarily on climate liability and finance. He specializes in developing legal strategies to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the impacts of climate change and for failures to acknowledge climate risks, as well as works on issues of securities law and finance to accelerate the incorporation of climate risk into financial markets and disclosures. Steven graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Applied Economics & Management and received his JD from New York University in 2015. He is a member of the State Bar of New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.


January 28, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd.
Breinigsville, PA 18031 us


Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (eastern PA)