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In the new year, many states have passed new laws and introduced programs to reduce their carbon footprints and help the U.S. meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Some of the most promising:
Massachusetts’ sweeping new climate legislation that overhauls climate programs, drives down greenhouse gas emissions with a requirement for net zero emissions by 2050, creates clean energy jobs, and protects frontline communities;
New Mexico broke ground on massive new wind farms to add 1000 megawatts of power as well as a new transmission line to distribute it.
Why this Matters: After President Trump systematically dismantled much of the United States’ federal climate protections, states have stepped up. Even after President-elect Biden’s administration begins to restore climate regulations at the federal level, these state programs will still prove vital.
Cap and Trade Scaling Up
The “regional” carbon trading program will generate about $3 billion from commitments by large gas and oil companies to purchase pollution offsets. Participating states are expected to use that money to invest in more just, less polluting transportation options. This program is a major one for the east coast, encompassing Massachusetts, Connecticut, D.C., and Rhode Island. Additionally, eight states — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia— signed a Memorandum of Understanding that said they will enact a similar initiative.
Massachusetts Bans Sale of New Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035. Last week the state announced a mandate that no new gas-powered cars can be sold after 2035 in an effort to curb emissions. Massachusetts has become only the second state to enact such a policy, after California. The state also introduced a wide-ranging climate bill, which set a 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emissions limit and increased the requirements for offshore wind energy procurement bringing the statewide total to 5,600 megawatts.
New Mexico has introduced a proposal to decrease venting and flaring in the state’s energy sector. In this proposal, gas and oil operators would have to reduce their waste by a fixed amount every year to achieve an ultimate gas capture rate of 98% by December 2026. The state is also moving forward with the largest single-phase construction of renewable power in U.S. history, with a series of new wind farms and a transmission line.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer There’s been a three-fold increase in climate targets by Fortune Global 500 companies over the past three years, but more than 60% still don’t have any commitments on the books. That’s according to numbers from Natural Capital Partners, who led a discussion with leaders from some of the companies […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Just a month and a half after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported a “code red” for the world to combat climate, the UN announced on Friday that recent climate action plans submitted by 191 countries won’t come close to limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees […]
This week is Climate Week NYC, an annual event hosted by The Climate Group and the United Nations, in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York. For one week, from September 20-26, experts will be hosting panels and conversations about all things climate, and you can follow along at home via Facebook […]
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