Western Resource Advocates, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sierra Club, and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) today applauded Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s executive order to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in the state.
“This executive order is an important step in helping Nevada track carbon emissions and develop strategies to address climate change,” said Cameron Dyer, Western Resource Advocates’ Clean Energy Program attorney in Nevada. “We commend the governor for recognizing that climate change is an issue that requires prompt and broad attention in order to ensure that our state will continue to have healthy communities and a thriving future.”
“On the campaign trail and in his State of the State, Governor Sisolak promised Nevadans he would protect their health and well-being by prioritizing action on climate. With this announcement, he follows through on his word. Governor Sisolak is blazing a path for other states looking to go green while the federal government limits its role to withdrawals and rollbacks,” said Patricia Valderrama, NRDC Climate and Clean Energy advocate.
“After a successful legislative session where Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature secured their role as clean energy leaders, we are thrilled to see the governor’s commitment to carbon reduction across all sectors,” said Elspeth Cordua DiMarzio, the Sierra Club’s senior Beyond Coal campaign manager in Nevada. “This executive order will kick off a robust statewide process to decarbonize in a just and equitable manner.”
“We are confident that Nevada can identify strategies to cut pollution that will also help everyone save money, such as expanding energy efficiency initiatives in the buildings, utility, and transportation sectors,” said Travis Madsen, Transportation Program Director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “We are eager to help Governor Sisolak and his team move forward on this critical issue.”
Sisolak’s executive order authorizes the directors of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Governor’s Office of Energy to coordinate the work of all state agencies to advance Nevada’s climate goals. The state agencies must develop policy recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and submit a Climate Strategy report to the governor by Dec. 1, 2020.
The executive order directs the agencies to include policies that would:
- create economy-wide or sector-specific programs to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,
- support transportation electrification and demand management,
- address building codes and other programs to increase residential and commercial building energy efficiency, and
- support tools and technologies to enhance climate resiliency and mitigate the impacts of climate change in urban and rural areas, including impacts to Nevada’s forests, rangelands, and water resources.
Importantly, the executive order also directs the agencies to consider the impact of proposed programs and policies on disadvantaged or low-income communities. In his remarks today announcing the executive order, Sisolak also noted that Nevada will be begin moving towards stronger vehicle emission standards.
The governor’s executive order follows the Nevada Legislature’s passage last spring of Senate Bill 254, which requires the state Department of Environmental Protection to study and report on Nevada’s greenhouse gas emissions and develop ways to reduce those emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Sisolak signed that bill into law, and earlier in the spring announced Nevada was joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. By joining the alliance, now comprised of 25 states, Nevada committed to reducing carbon pollution by 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, in line with scientific consensus on the steps needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Average annual temperatures in Nevada have already increased by about two degrees Fahrenheit since 1900, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If greenhouse gas emissions around the globe remain unaddressed, average temperatures in Nevada could increase by as much as 15 degrees by 2100.
About Our Partners
Western Resource Advocates works to protect the West’s land, air, and water so that our communities thrive in balance with nature. WRA’s team of scientists, lawyers, and economists craft and implement innovative solutions to the most complex natural resource challenges in the region. For more information, visit: www.westernresourceadvocates.org and follow us on Twitter @wradv and #ProtectTheWest.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization advancing more efficient energy use and clean transportation options in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.swenergy.org