On December 1st, Governor Mills is expected to release a new Climate Action Plan that has been under development by the Maine Climate Council for more than a year. This new plan arrives as President-elect Biden is reported to be considering a quick focus on tackling climate change by signing numerous executive orders on the first day of his presidency, including having the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement on what needs to be done by every nation, and especially those of us in developed countries, to address the climate crisis.
After the drought that plagued Maine this summer, the fires raging across California and Colorado, and the record-breaking hurricanes in the Southeast, the impact of climate change is even more obvious across the U.S. as well as around the world. Further action must be taken now.
On November 12th, a draft Climate Action Plan was approved by the Maine Climate Council. It details actions and strategies for meeting targets of at least an 80% reduction in carbon pollution and transition to 100% renewable energy in Maine, both by 2050.
The incoming Biden-Harris Administration has already highlighted bold climate action as one of its top four priorities, focused on making far-reaching economic investments in infrastructure, housing, transit and autos, power generation, and environmental justice.
Maine’s expertise will be represented in Washington, D.C., by David Reidmiller, director of the Climate Center at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, a Portland-based marine science center that focuses on issues such as warming oceans and sustainable seafood. Reidmiller has been named to the Biden-Harris Office of Science and Technology Policy Transition Team. We are thrilled!
Acting on climate is not just important for our health and the health of the environment, it’s also vital for our economic future. A new report from the Governor’s Energy Office reinforces the enormous economic opportunities that acting on climate will bring to Maine as we recover from the pandemic.
The Biden-Harris plan calls for a $1.7 trillion investment to bolster the U.S. economy with clean energy jobs. This is exciting news for Maine, where federal investments are needed to maximize the recommended policies laid out in the state’s draft Climate Action Plan. The prospects of skilled jobs for Mainers is something that the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s 2020 Conservation Leadership Awardee, Vaughn Woodruff, founder of Insource Renewables in Pittston, is excited for, too.
Over the past year, more than 250 Maine people participated in working groups that provided input to the Maine Climate Council, and more than 4,400 people provided comments. NRCM’s team has been involved from the start, logging onto countless virtual meetings and advocating for strategies that are equitable, measurable, and based in science.
Now that we can expect climate action to feature heavily in state and federal policy making it’s just as important as ever to make your voice heard. NRCM will be there with you, calling for bold, aggressive action to reduce pollution, create new jobs, and help people save money with more affordable electricity and energy efficient homes. We face many challenges ahead, but we must pull together to implement solutions that make us a stronger and more resilient state for the future.
—Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM CEO