Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed an executive order on Friday requiring state agencies to create plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across multiple sectors of the economy.
- State agencies need to submit a climate strategy report to Sisolak by December 1, 2020. The order builds on SB 254, which Sisolak signed in June and which directed the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to study and produce an annual report on greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement’s targets.
Nevada has committed to a 50% renewable energy target by 2030. Now, the state needs to focus on reducing emissions from the transportation sector, Sisolak said at a press conference. "The goals we’ve set are high and it will take aggressive steps to address the issue," he added.
Sisolak has a growing record on climate-related issues; he was elected last year after supporting a 100% clean energy mandate for Nevada, and in March, the state officially joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of 25 states that plan to reduce emissions 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
In April, the state passed a bill adopting a 50% renewable electricity target for 2030 and a 100% carbon-free electricity target for 2050.
"Under my administration, we’re taking the urgent action that climate change truly demands," Sisolak said, adding that state leadership on climate issues is particularly important now that President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Agreement.
Nevada’s economy stands to benefit greatly from climate action, according to Sisolak — in 2018, the state's clean energy sector created more than 32,000 jobs and injected millions of dollars into the economy.
The state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is in the process of formulating the first inventory report required by SB 254 and this executive order will add more players to the team, David Bobzien, director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy, said. The state will work on "a full suite of recommendations" on achieving its climate goals, he added, beginning with aspects of government operations like state buildings, procurement and fleet vehicles to set an example.
"Nevada has made tremendous strides in cleaning up the electricity generating sector. While we must continue down this path, we must also turn our attention to other sectors," he said.
Groups like Western Resources Advocates, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project praised the order and its inclusion of policies that would increase energy efficiency in buildings, electrify the transportation sector, deploy demand management measures and protect state forests from climate change.
Advanced Energy Economy said the order will also increase energy production within the state.
"It will be a catalyst for in-state advanced energy projects, and will benefit all Nevadans by expanding economic development in communities while making the state’s electricity and transportation systems cleaner and more efficient," Sarah Steinberg, a policy principal with AEE said in a press release.