Carney Administration releases Climate Action Plan

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Gov. John Carney this week released Delaware’s Climate Action Plan.

The main goals of the Climate Action Plan are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare for the impacts of climate change by prioritizing clean energy and improved energy efficiency, providing support to state agencies in resilience efforts, and increasing research and monitoring, a release stated. 

“Climate change threatens our $3.5 billion tourism industry and 44,000 jobs, our $8 billion agricultural industry, the health of our citizens, and the financial well-being of our local, county, and state governments,” said Carney. “The strategies in the Climate Action Plan can be implemented over time, as resources, data and partnerships develop. Taking these actions to reduce emissions will allow Delaware to meet or exceed its 2025 reduction target and make further emissions reductions in the years ahead.”

“Delaware is already feeling the effects of climate change, and many of these effects are projected to worsen over the next few decades,” said Shawn M. Garvin, secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). “The Climate Action Plan provides a roadmap of strategies and actions that state agencies can take to minimize emissions and maximize resilience to climate change.”

The Climate Action Plan identified five key action areas to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and seven action areas that state agencies can focus on to improve resilience to climate impacts we are witnessing today, including sea-level rise, warmer temperatures and more intense and frequent storms.

The administration’s climate actions have drawn fire in some quarters, with critics claiming that much of the state’s emissions come from out of state and that measures being taken increase utility bills with few environmental benefits.

Action areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions include:

  • clean and renewable energy;
  • energy efficiency;
  • transportation;
  • reducing high global warming potential greenhouse gases;
  • natural and working lands.

Key action areas to maximize resilience include:

  • updating or creating state regulations
  • supporting communities and stakeholders;
  • creating management plans;
  • updating facility design and operation;
  • promoting research and monitoring;
  • engaging in outreach and education;
  • providing agency support.

Delaware has adopted a goal of reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% by 2025 from 2005 levels.

The Climate Action Plan is the result of a year-long process that involved residents, businesses, and organizations.

More than 250 people participated in an initial round of public workshops, held in each county in March 2020. A follow-up series of virtual workshops held in September and October of 2020 attracted nearly 390 attendees across five sessions. Online surveys in the spring and fall of 2020 gathered input from those unable to attend a public workshop.

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