Governor Roy Cooper’s Climate Change Interagency Council presented four key plans related to clean energy and climate change to the Governor today. The plans were a directive the Governor’s Executive Order 80, which he signed last year to reaffirm the state’s commitment to fighting climate change and lead North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy
The council presented Gov. Cooper with:
- The Clean Energy Plan from the Department of Environmental Quality,
- The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Plan from the Department of Transportation,
- The Motor Fleet ZEV plan from the Department of Administration and
- The Clean Energy and Clean Transportation Workforce Assessment from the Department of Commerce.
“I’m committed to fighting climate change and securing more clean energy jobs for our state and these plans help us do both,” said Governor Cooper. “Our state is taking strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow renewable energy sources, which will create jobs and support innovation.”
The Clean Energy Plan recommends policies and actions based on 160 stakeholders’ input to grow clean energy resources that benefit all of North Carolina. The final plan received more than 660 comments during the final comment period, some of which are directly reflected in the final plan.
- The plan calls for a 70% reduction in power sector greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 with carbon neutrality by 2050.
- The plan also includes strategies for modernizing regulatory and planning processes to foster long-term energy affordability and price stability for North Carolina’s residents and businesses.
- The plan provides for ways to accelerate clean energy innovation to create economic opportunities for both rural and urban areas of the state.
The ZEV Plan identifies strategic actions to support the goal set out in Executive Order 80 of 80,000 registered ZEVs by 2025. Recommended actions are designed to increase awareness about ZEVs, improve vehicle affordability, increase convenience of ZEV ownership through installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and advance effective policies.
The Motor Fleet ZEV plan identifies over 550 state vehicles that can feasibly be replaced with an EV, saving the state approximately $3.8 million, and provides action steps for shifting the state motor fleet to include more EVs.
The Clean Energy and Clean Transportation Workforce Assessment provides a clear picture of the industries and occupations that make up North Carolina’s clean economy. The assessment finds that the state has a large clean economy workforce that is meeting current employment needs, in large part because of North Carolina’s strong workforce and education systems.
Cabinet Secretaries also provided updates from their agencies on the progress toward emission and efficiency goals in state facilities and their progress on the Climate Risk Assessment and Resiliency Plan due next year. Members of the public who attended today’s meeting were given a chance to comment on the Council’s presentation.
The Climate Council is scheduled to meet again in November. The final plan documents and latest updates are available online at https://deq.nc.gov/eo80-plans-and-progress.