Gov. John Bel Edwards signed two executive orders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance coastal resilience.
According to the Governor's Office, Executive Order JBE 2020-18 formally establishes Louisiana’s first-ever Climate Initiatives Task Force, a group of stakeholders who will study and make recommendations to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions. Executive Order JBE 2020-19 provides steps to improve state government by coordinating adaptation efforts more comprehensively across state agencies under the leadership of the state’s first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO).
“By coupling these new efforts to build resilience and address greenhouse gas emissions with our world class coastal protection and restoration program, we believe we can even more successfully confront the difficulties in store in the future and seize new opportunities to transform ourselves into a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable state,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The Climate Initiatives Task Force will consist of representatives from the scientific community, state government, private sector, and civil society. According to a release, the group's will be utilizing science to develop strategies for curtailing Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that fully recognizes the state’s extreme climate vulnerabilities as well as the characteristics of its energy-intensive economy. Emissions reduction goals set for the Task Force include cuts of net greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025, 40-50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050.
The governor's office says that Leadership in energy, industry, and coastal restoration will be crucial to Louisiana’s success in reducing emissions while maintaining and creating economic opportunities within the state.
“Louisiana has many industrial sources of carbon, which means a great potential demand for carbon management strategies, and also has deep, well-confined geologic storage options in close proximity to that industrial base, as well as some history of putting carbon to use in such operations as enhanced oil recovery,” said Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Thomas Harris. “These factors provide a unique opportunity for our state to be both a proving ground and a leader in applying strategies that can help lessen the climate impacts of carbon in the future.”
LMOGA released a statement regarding the announcement made today on Governor Edwards’ Climate Initiative Task Force:
“The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) is honored to partner with the broad coalition that makes up the Climate Initiatives Task Force in working toward solutions to address climate change,” said Lori Leblanc, interim LMOGA president. “Louisiana has long been a global leader in energy production, and this task force presents an opportunity to show the world that energy production and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. Through the efforts of this task force and the actions of LMOGA members, Louisiana can become a leader in climate change solutions.”
The resilience work outlined in Executive Order JBE 2020-19 has been named the Adaptive Governance Initiative. The name according to the governor's office represents an effort to identify the ways in which government can adjust to significant changes in circumstances and interact more efficiently to address the long-term problem of coastal change and its impacts on Louisiana’s communities.
The work has been designed and executed through a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities and the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX).
Secretaries from 16 different government agencies have already appointed representatives to coordinate on the Adaptive Governance Initiative. Participating agencies include the Departments of Agriculture and Forestry, Children and Family Services, Environmental Quality, Health, Insurance, Natural Resources, Public Safety and Corrections, Revenue, Transportation and Development, Veterans Affairs, Wildlife and Fisheries, the Division of Administration, Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Housing Corporation, Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
The Climate Initiatives Task Force will produce an update to Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory by the end of 2020, an interim report by February of 2021, and a final Climate Strategy document by February 2022.
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