This is the moment for Maine to build a healthier, more equitable and resilient future for everyone who lives in Maine. But we can only get there with clear direction and real solutions that will ensure our steady transition to a prosperous clean energy future.
The statewide Climate Action Plan being developed by the Maine Climate Council must identify the concrete legislative and regulatory actions necessary to set the state on a trajectory to grow Maine’s economy by reducing climate pollution 80% by 2050.
The following recommendations have been identified by Maine’s environmental, public health, social justice, and community organizations, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine, as essential components for Maine’s Climate Action Plan. Please join us in calling on the Climate Council to take these necessary steps to secure Maine’s future.
Please consider these recommendations when filling out the surveys on the Maine Climate Council website.
This is no time to wait. Maine’s people overwhelmingly support and deserve action today for a better future tomorrow. Acting on climate change will help strengthen our economy and build a healthier, more resilient future for all of us. These are investments in our future we can’t afford to pass up.
Now is the time to capture the far-reaching economic, public health, and environmental benefits that bold climate action will deliver for Maine.
Addressing the Largest and Fastest-growing Source of Carbon Pollution:
- Invest in a modern transportation system that gives people better options by increasing public transportation funding to at least $5 per capita by 2025. Expand investment in healthier transportation, including construction of shovel-ready biking and walking paths that give people the opportunity to drive less.
- Proactively participate in the creation of the regional Transportation & Climate Initiative to provide sorely needed funding for healthier, more affordable transportation solutions across Maine and ensure projects serve the needs of all Maine residents, especially rural populations.
- Expand electrification of cars and trucks to 70% of sales by 2030, with interim milestones and a dedicated investment in necessary charging infrastructure.
Accelerate the Transition to a Future Powered by Local, Clean Energy
- Create new financing options by 2023 to stimulate clean energy development and jobs, including a Maine Green Bank and increased revenue bonding.
- Set a clear pathway for meeting Maine’s 100% clean energy Renewable Portfolio Standard target. Encourage innovation in technology such as storage and explore structural solutions, including consumer ownership of Maine’s power delivery systems and/or multistate or national carbon pricing.
- By 2022, ensure every Mainer has the opportunity to live or work in an energy-efficient home or building by:
- Financing ultra-efficient and highly cost-effective new affordable housing through MaineHousing;
- Launching an initiative to manufacture zero-energy homes in Maine to replace aging, inefficient mobile homes;
- Dramatically scale up the successful low-income weatherization programs to tighten up leaky homes, which are also often unsafe and unhealthy;
- Increase access to financing for home efficiency improvements and expand support for heat pump installations; and
- Align Maine with international best practices by requiring progressively tighter standards for space- and water-heating systems in residential and commercial buildings.
Invest in Natural Climate Solutions to Increase Carbon Storage and Build Resiliency
- Create a dedicated, sustained public funding source by 2022 that generates at least $15 million annually to conserve working forest, agricultural, and ecologically significant lands.
- Support climate-friendly land management practices and infrastructure development on public and private lands. Create a forest carbon sequestration program to send more wood products to market while protecting ecologically significant lands where development pressure is high, and expand the state’s Ecological Reserve System to increase climate resiliency.
Support Increased Resiliency for Communities Across the State
- Further enhance mitigation by 2022 by conserving and restoring coastal habitats that naturally store carbon (blue carbon optimization).
- More vigorously promote by 2022 climate-adaptive ecosystem planning and management using nature-based solutions.
- Markedly improve by 2022 the delivery (system) of technical assistance on resilience to municipalities.
- Establish by 2022 funding mechanisms to achieve resilience. Establish a non-disaster related “State Infrastructure Climate Adaptation Fund” that would allow municipalities and state agencies to access the funds needed to supplement the often-excessive local cost shares associated with adaptation projects.
—David Costello, NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director