North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina’s mountainous western landscape eases to coastal plains in the east, where the state boasts 322 miles of coastline and, at over 12 thousand miles, the second-largest estuarine system in the country. Off North Carolina’s coast are the Outer Banks, the site of the first European colony in the 1500s, which are now rapidly disappearing into the Atlantic Ocean as the sea levels rise. Home to about 10.5 million people and stretching almost 50 thousand square miles, North Carolina is also home to 8 Native American tribes and 4 urban Indian organizations. Among those are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who have reclaimed a sovereign nation of 100 square miles.

Both coastal and inland flooding are urgent threats in North Carolina. Sea levels along the Atlantic Coast are rising even more rapidly than elsewhere, because the coast is also sinking due to erosion. Over 120 thousand people are currently at risk of coastal flooding in and that number is expected to rise by 44 thousand by 2050. Higher sea levels also make it more likely that storm surges breach barriers — a concern as tropical storms and hurricanes intensify in warmer waters. Since 1958, the amount of precipitation during heavy rainstorms has increased 27% in the Southeast, a trend that is projected to continue. Almost half a million people in North Carolina are living in an area with elevated risk of inland flooding.

Clearly no stranger to hurricanes and wet weather, North Carolina has been hit exceptionally hard in recent years. The most devastating, Hurricane Florence (September, 2018), caused at least $13 billion in damages, as well as knocking out power for 1.1 million North Carolinians, and costing 142 people their lives. It hit as the state was still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew (2016), which created widespread flooding, much of which lingered for weeks after the rains had stopped — the soil too saturated to allow water to infiltrate and the slope of the land too shallow to create much possibility for drainage. And, then came Hurricane Michael (October, 2018), knocking out power for thousands and flooding the Northern Outer Banks. Dorian was the one to remember in 2019 as was Isaias in August, 2020, bringing 15 tornadoes along with it. As oceans warm, hurricanes will get wetter and heavier, primed to dispense thousands of gallons on coastal regions and low-lying areas, flooding homes, destroying infrastructure, and endangering lives.

North Carolina remains one of the top ten nuclear energy producers in the US. Nuclear energy was the largest source of electricity in North Carolina in 2019, providing almost one-third of the state’s electricity. Natural gas provided only slightly less exceeding coal-fired generation for the first time since 2016. Prior to 2012, coal-fired power plants supplied more than half of the electricity generated in North Carolina; however, nearly 30 coal-fired units have since been retired and 30 natural gas-fired units added. By 2019, coal provided less than one-fourth. More than 10% of electricity in North Carolina comes from renewable energy,  the majority of which is solar, followed by hydroelectricity, biomass and a small, but potentially growing amount of wind as Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina agreed, in October 2021, to join forces to build offshore power projects. North Carolina ranks second after California in the country for installed solar generating capacity.

North Carolina was the first state in the Southeast to adopt a Renewable Energy Standard in 2007. The RES requires investor-owned utilities to meet 12.5% of their sales from renewable energy by 2021, while rural electric cooperatives and municipal electric suppliers were required to meet 10% by 2018. In 2020, North Carolina released its Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan, the culmination of an interdisciplinary effort mandated in 2018 by Governor Roy Cooper. This is the state’s first adaptation plan and includes vulnerability assessments across 11 sectors, climate justice concerns and strategies, and recommendations for nature-based solutions to enhance ecosystem resiliency and carbon sequestering. In October, 2021, the governor signed House Bill 951 turning a compromise on North Carolina’s energy future between his office and legislative Republicans into law. A milestone energy bill, which aims to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s power plants, setting carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets of 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050 for Duke Energy, this revised version of House Bill 951 will shape North Carolina’s energy mix for decades. In a ceremony with legislators from both parties, Governor Cooper enacted a law that now tasks the state Utilities Commission with coming up by the end of 2022 with the arrangements to meet the carbon dioxide reduction goals sought by the governor.

At least 16 states previously have passed legislation establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The only other Southeast state to have done so before Wednesday was Virginia.

North Carolina is one of twenty-four states, along with Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

ANATOMY OF A FLOOD

By Brady Dennis and Others 06/11/24
Nothing seemed amiss on a warm late-summer afternoon in this laid-back beach town south of Wilmington.
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Another N.C. beach house just fell into the ocean. Others may follow.

By Brady Dennis 05/28/24
Another home has crumbled into the sea in Rodanthe, N.C., the scenic Outer Banks community where rising seas and relentless erosion have claimed a growing number of houses and forced some property owners to take…
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Where Seas Are Rising At Alarming Speed

By Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, Kevin Crowe and John Muyskens 04/29/24
One of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth is besieging the American South, forcing a reckoning for coastal communities across eight U.S. states, a Washington Post analysis has found.
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End of an Era: Historic Wanchese Fish Operation in North Carolina to Close after 88 Years

By Aqsa Younas Rana 03/05/24
The historic fish offloading and packing enterprise in Wanchese, North Carolina, a staple in the local community and a significant player in the state's commercial fishing industry for 88 years, is shutting down operations at…
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North Carolina Home Succumbs to Rising Tides, Echoing Coastal Vulnerability

By Safak Costu 03/05/24
In a stark reminder of the relentless force of nature, officials from the National Park Service announced the collapse of a coastal home in Rodanthe, North Carolina, to the advancing tides. This occurrence underscores the…
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In the N.C. Governor’s Race, the GOP Frontrunner Is a Climate Denier, and the Democrat Doesn’t Want to Talk About It

By Daniel Shailer 03/05/24
One stifling Sunday last summer, Winkler’s Grove Baptist Church’s congregation gathered in Hickory, North Carolina, for morning worship. The service’s guest speaker, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, was three months into his gubernatorial campaign. After 25…
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Interfaith student leaders promote climate care in North Carolina places of worship

By Hannah Vinueza McClellan 02/26/24
C.E. Jordan High School junior Aven Schwartz can’t remember a time that she didn’t care about the environment. Her mom works as Durham County’s sustainability manager, so she grew up learning about the climate and…
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Researchers say wildfires in NC will likely only get worse. Here’s why

By Audra Phillips 01/24/24
Many people have seen the devastating pictures of wildfires ripping through parts of western North Carolina in late 2023. Now, researchers say it's only expected to get worse.
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Where war looks lost, Mother Nature fights climate change

By Dan Chapman 01/17/24
Point Peter Road leads straight into the Croatan Sound where rising seas, higher tides, and monstrous storms batter the fragile coastline. The saltwater poisons and erodes the peaty soil before what’s left disappears under the…
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A flood-prone historic site decides to live with rising water rather than fight it

By Brady Dennis 01/01/24
Another high tide, and retired Navy Capt. Terry Bragg wades from his office into a flooded parking lot in the rain boots he always keeps close at hand.
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As the planet warmed in 2023, North Carolina struggled for change

By David Boraks 12/22/23
It's been a big year for climate change news. 2023 will go down as the hottest year on record, clean energy development continued to grow, and the transition brought hundreds more clean-energy jobs to the…
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Shorter winters increase risk for tornadoes like the one that hit Garner, NC.

By Adam Wagner 12/13/23
The temperature was an unseasonably warm 65 degrees Fahrenheit when an EF-1 tornado touched down in Garner on Sunday, according to N.C. State Climate Office data. That’s nearly 20 degrees warmer than the 47.7 degree…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Thanks to Duke Energy, offshore wind is blowing back into NC’s clean energy picture

03/02/24
From concerns about financing to potential impacts on the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale, developers of offshore wind projects had to navigate some rough waters in 2023.

More natural gas, offshore wind, and higher customer bills in Duke’s revised energy plan

02/20/24
Projecting “unprecedented” future power demand while legally obliged to reduce carbon emissions to help slow climate change, Duke Energy has proposed adding lots more power-production capacity − including offshore wind − to its plan to…

Environment North Carolina’s 2024 Program Agenda

01/30/24
Environment North Carolina is a policy and action group with one mission: to restore and protect the natural world. Our staff works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife, open spaces, and a livable…

Duke Energy Carolinas receives approval for new rates in North Carolina, implements new programs to help customers

01/12/24
Duke Energy Carolinas will implement new rates for North Carolina customers on Jan. 15 as approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).

Solar energy and its cheaper bills are coming to more disadvantaged communities

12/18/23
When a lightning storm knocked out power in Doris Brown’s Northeast Houston neighborhood this summer, her solar-powered home suddenly became a refuge for frantic neighbors left without electricity.

Kicking gas: North Carolina’s clean energy boom

12/18/23
In the vast and varied landscape of North Carolina, a revolution is unfolding, one that positions the state at the forefront of America’s clean energy movement.

Other states outpacing NC in solar power growth, report shows

12/08/23
North Carolina ranks fourth in the country for total solar energy capacity, according to a new Solar Market Insight Report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

State and Community Energy Programs Project Map – North Carolina

11/30/23
States report outcomes of State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program formula (annual) fund activities to DOE on a quarterly basis. The metrics above are outcomes of formula-funded activities since 2015.

Duke Energy offers customers a new way to help plant trees

11/16/23
For the first 1,000 Duke Energy residential customers who start a Renewable Advantage subscription between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, the company will plant a tree with help from the One Tree Planted organization.

Two RNG facilities now operational in North Carolina landfills

11/13/23
EVENSOL LLC, a renewable energy project developer focusing on biogas and methane mitigation, has developed two renewable natural gas (RNG) facilities in North Carolina, US, that are now operational.

First renewable natural gas plant in N.C. now up and running

11/13/23
North Carolina’s first renewable natural gas plant is now up and running in Person County. The project is a collaboration between several groups, including Republic Services, Duke Energy and others

Asheville continues to work toward 100% renewable energy by 2030

09/08/23
Bridget Herring is the sustainability director for Asheville. In her role she works in anything from renewable energy to climate resilience, climate justice and waste reduction to food policy.

General Assembly Of North Carolina Session 2021

11/12/21
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE UTILITIES COMMISSION TO (I) TAKE ALL REASONABLE STEPS TO ACHIEVE A SEVENTY PERCENT REDUCTION IN EMISSIONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE FROM ELECTRIC PUBLIC UTILITIES FROM 2005 LEVELS BY THE YEAR 2030…

Climate change: North Carolina gov signs major energy law

10/14/21
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina signed a milestone energy bill into law Wednesday that aims to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s power plants by 2030, celebrating the legislative accomplishment with…

Climate change challenges trout industry in North Carolina

By Emma Johnson 05/01/21
Raising trout in Western North Carolina is a time — and labor — intensive process, and the growing threat of climate change only worsens the situation, creating difficulties for hatcheries and recreational fisherman. Producing trout…

Preparing for Climate Change in North Carolina

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps North Carolina is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Cumberland County, North Carolina, Climate Resiliency Plan

04/11/19
Updated in 2018, Sustainable Sandhills facilitated a climate adaptation planning process through the Climate Solutions University (CSU): Forest and Water Strategies program that produced the Cumberland County Climate Resiliency Plan (C3RP) in 2016. CSU challenges…

North Carolina Climate and Health Adaptation Plan, 2016

04/10/19
In 2012, the North Carolina Climate and Health Adaptation Plan was developed. Since then, additional climate and health work has led the North Carolina Division of Public Health’s Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch to update…

KEY RESOURCES

North Carolina Deep Decarbonization Pathways Analysis

02/01/23
The Cooper Administration has prioritized bold action to confront the climate crisis and grow North Carolina’s clean energy economy in a manner that centers equity and affordability and creates opportunities for all North Carolinians (see…

North Carolina State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/18/21
North Carolina rises from its Atlantic Ocean coastline to the highest peak east of the Mississippi River—Mount Mitchell, which stands more than a mile above sea level at 6,684 feet. The state's terrain ranges from…

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets and Market-based Policies

09/22/21
States have implemented a variety of policies aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At least 16 states and Puerto Rico have enacted legislation establishing GHG emissions reduction requirements, with more requiring state agencies to…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in North Carolina

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, North Carolina experienced five tropical cyclones, five severe storms, two winter storms, and one freeze. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

North Carolina Coastal Flooding

09/16/20
Climate change causing more nuisance flooding in North Carolina. Today, North Carolina has 122,000 people at risk of coastal flooding. By 2050, an additional 44,000 people are projected to be at risk due to sea…

What Climate Change Means for North Carolina

09/16/20
North Carolina’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed one-half to one degree (F) in the last century, and the sea is rising about one inch every decade.

State-by-State: Climate Change in North Carolina

08/06/20
North Carolina climate and energy facts

North Carolina Renewable Energy

02/27/20
An introduction to renewable energy in North Carolina from Arcadia, an online energy service that is making the process of converting to clean energy more accessible to homeowners and renters across the country.

NC Sustainable Energy Network

02/27/20
The NC Sustainable Energy Association is a leading organization of individuals, businesses, government, and nonprofits interested in North Carolina's sustainable energy future. Our mission is to drive policy and market development to create clean energy…

NC Clean Energy Technology Center

02/27/20
The Center provides services to the businesses and citizens of North Carolina and beyond relating to the development and adoption of clean energy technologies. Through its programs and activities, we envision and seek to promote…

Floodplain Regulations Technical Guidance Document

01/09/20
The responsibility for reducing flood losses is shared by all units of government—local, state and federal—and the private sector. In order to fulfill this responsibility, land owners and/or professionals planning any “Development” activity within the…

MORE NEWS

Here’s what NC needs to know about climate change in a new 2,000-page federal report

By Adam Wagner   12/08/23  
North Carolina is already facing many of the climate change impacts a new federal report warns about. The Fifth National Climate Assessment, released in November, warns that a warmer climate will cause higher temperatures, longer…
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Here’s what NC needs to know about climate change in a new 2,000-page federal report

By Adam Wagner   12/08/23  
North Carolina is already facing many of the climate change impacts a new federal report warns about.
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Electric Vehicle Push Returns North Carolina to Its Lithium Mining Roots

By Alan Rappeport   11/30/23  
The Kings Mountain hiking trail known as Cardio Hill overlooks a pit full of rainwater the size of a lake, but the craggy terrain situated about 30 miles west of Charlotte is now one of…
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‘A Beautiful Place That Has a Dragon’: Where Hurricane Risk Meets Booming Growth

By Aatish Bhatia   11/19/23  
The hurricanes keep coming, and the people, too: The fastest-growing places along the Atlantic coast this century are also among the most hurricane-prone. Between 2016 and 2022, the five hurricanes that hit the Carolinas cost…
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How North Carolina Incorporated Seagrasses Into Its Blue Carbon Inventory

11/14/23  
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally will require a multifaceted approach. Conserving, restoring, and managing natural habitats such as forests, grasslands, and wetlands is one strategy that can help moderate emissions and slow the rate…
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‘Superuser’ states devour climate grants as others get nothing

By Thomas Frank   11/13/23  
A federal climate grant program has been monopolized by five large states that together have collected half of its money, highlighting an uneven disbursement of government funding that often leaves poorer regions with less financial…
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North Carolina Joins Growing List of U.S. Environmental Justice Policy Proponents

By Karen Cullinane and Goldberg Segalla   11/10/23  
At the end of October, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 292, which reestablishes the Secretary of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board (EJ Board) as the Governor’s Environmental…
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Democratic Governors Block Bills For New Nuclear Power Plants

By Alexander C. Kaufman   10/21/23  
In just the last three months, the Democratic governors of Illinois and North Carolina have vetoed bills to build new reactors in their states, warning that doing so would divert money and attention from a…
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How climate change and population growth are helping armadillos move into more areas of NC

By Gareth McGrath   10/12/23  
But is the arrival of the nine-banded armadillo in North Carolina, now going on nearly 15 years since they were first reported, necessarily a bad thing?
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Western North Carolina Works to Increase Resilience to Floods, Fire, and Landslides

By Kristiane Huber   10/11/23  
As western North Carolina continues on an economic and population growth trajectory, local officials there—in concert with their state and federal counterparts—are planning ahead to ensure that the region is adequately prepared for floods, wildfires,…
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Raleigh Community Climate Action Plan

10/04/23  
Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) aims to reduce City-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050. The City's first community-wide plan for action was released in 2021 and was developed with the help of…
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NC governor vetoes 2 bills, saying they hurt his climate and environment efforts

By David Boraks   10/02/23  
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday vetoed two bills that he says would undermine his administration's efforts on the environment and climate change.
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North Carolina launching Climate Action Corps

By Liz McLaughlin   09/28/23  
Governor Roy Cooper is promoting the new service effort that will enlist 25 members across the state to work on projects such as community gardens and planting trees to address so-called "urban heat islands," areas…
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A warming planet is pushing hurricanes north and deeper inland. What that means for NC

By Gareth McGrath   08/28/23  
Multiple named storms and tropical waves have recently formed and have coastal residents, including those in the Cape Fear region, keeping a close eye on the tropics as we head toward what is historically the…
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‘Heat keeps getting worse’: Climate data predicts dangerous summers in North Carolina by 2050

By Tom George and Maggie Green   08/18/23  
We have seen it firsthand this summer - temperatures getting hotter, creating dangerous conditions here in North Carolina.
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US air quality today: AQI maps show Chicago, Detroit among cities impacted by wildfire smoke

By Gabe Hauari   07/17/23  
Poor air quality has returned in large portions of the country and is expected to linger through the early portion of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Smoke from Canadian wildfires is projected…
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The debt ceiling deal bulldozes a controversial pipeline’s path through the courts

By Bill Chappell   06/01/23  
The controversial natural gas pipeline has been stalled by court challenges — but now the Mountain Valley Pipeline has new momentum, thanks to a debt ceiling deal that gives sweeping approvals to the project.
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One pastor’s mission to prepare his community for climate change

By YCC Team   05/29/23  
Rev. Gerald Godette is a pastor and scientist. So he’s in a unique position to talk to people of faith about sea level rise, extreme weather, and other climate change impacts.
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As the harms of hydropower dams become clearer, some activists ask, ‘is it time to remove them?’

By Kristoffer Tigue   05/15/23  
For most of Joey Owle’s life, the Ela Dam was merely part of the landscape—just another feature of the Oconaluftee River as it runs through Whittier, North Carolina.
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Legislators want to block rules for more energy efficient homes until 2031

By David Boraks   04/12/23  
There's a battle in Raleigh over energy efficiency standards and building codes that has implications for both North Carolina's climate change efforts and the short- and long-term costs of homeownership.
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North Carolinians Support Clean Energy and Electric Vehicles

12/13/22  
As North Carolina transitions to a 21st-century clean energy economy, electric vehicles will play an important role in achieving many of the state’s clean energy, climate resilience, economic, and public health goals. The North Carolina…
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Whistleblower: Enviva claim of ‘being good for the planet… all nonsense’

By Justin Catanoso   12/05/22  
The operator of a Tigercat tractor used its claw-like arm to skillfully scoop up what just days before had been a sizable old oak, as the clear-cut of a thickly wooded 52-acre (21-hectare) site in…
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Can EVs Help Power a Cleaner & More Flexible Grid?

By Sarah Lozanova   09/14/22  
Duke Energy recently announced that it wants to use EV batteries from Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks (F-150s) to help power the grid by utilizing “vehicle-to-grid” technology. This pilot program in North Carolina will partner…
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Rising seas could swallow millions of U.S. acres within decades

By Brady Dennis   09/08/22  
New research finds an estimated 25,000 properties in Louisiana could slip below tidal boundary lines by 2050. Florida, Texas and North Carolina also face profound economic risks.
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‘They are not slowing down’: The rise of billion-dollar disasters

Brady Dennis   08/04/22  
One battered N.C. community illustrates how summer, fueled in part by climate change, is proving an especially perilous and costly season.
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The quest to keep carbon in North Carolina’s wetlands

By Brady Dennis   05/31/22  
George Washington himself aspired to drain this sprawling wetland that straddles the border of North Carolina and Virginia — one in a long line of investors eager to carve out farmland, harvest stands of Atlantic…
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He bought the house 9 months ago. Then the ocean swept it away.

By Brady Dennis   05/13/22  
He and his sister purchased the four-bedroom waterfront home in August for $550,000. With its airy rooms, two levels of decks and stunning Atlantic views, Patricelli envisioned it as an ideal spot to welcome friends…
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The swift march of climate change in North Carolina’s ‘ghost forests’

By Brady Dennis   05/12/22  
As the first light of day flickers across the Croatan Sound, Scott Lanier surveys the gray, barren tree trunks that stand in every direction, like massive gravestones marking the once-vibrant landscape.
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North Carolina beach homes collapse from lumbering coastal storm

By Jason Samenow & Brady Dennis   05/11/22  
The two homes along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe collapsed after days of battering from a coastal storm, the National Park Service confirmed — the same storm that unleashed tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma, as well…
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North Carolina Hurricanes Linked to Increases in Gastrointestinal Illnesses in Marginalized Communities

By Leah Campbell   03/07/22  
North Carolina emergency rooms reported hundreds of visits for gastrointestinal illnesses like diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain in the weeks during and after Hurricanes Florence, in 2018, and Matthew, in 2016. A new study released…
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North Carolina sets goal to sell 50% zero-emission vehicles by 2030

By Emma Penrod   01/10/22  
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, D, issued an executive order on Friday that outlines the state's next steps toward its goal of halving carbon emissions by 2030, and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
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Solar and green groups buy into Duke’s net-metering plan in North Carolina

By Jeff St. John   12/02/21  
Duke Energy customers in North Carolina are poised to get a revamped net-metering regime for new home solar systems — one that would closely tie the value of rooftop solar power to how much households…
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NC’s salt marshes hold 64 million tons of carbon dioxide. What happens if they die?

By Adam Wagner   10/25/21  
On a recent weekend, a family went fishing feet away from a salt marsh in the northwest corner of Carolina Beach State Park, about 20 minutes south of downtown Wilmington.
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North Carolina Strikes a Climate Deal That Eludes Washington

By Leslie Kaufman   10/20/21  
North Carolina’s body politic is cleaved in two: Democrats hold the governorship and Republicans a large majority of both legislative houses. Yet last week, lawmakers mandated that the power sector make a deep cut in…
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Climate change: North Carolina gov signs major energy law

By Gary D. Robertson   10/14/21  
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina signed a milestone energy bill into law Wednesday that aims to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s power plants by 2030, celebrating the legislative accomplishment with…
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Gov. Roy Cooper signs compromise energy bill. Here’s what that means for you

By Adam Wagner   10/13/21  
Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 951 on Wednesday, turning a compromise on North Carolina’s energy future between his office and legislative Republicans into law.
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How Habitat Protection Can Help North Carolina’s Coastal Communities, Fish, and Ecosystems

By Leda Cunningham   10/12/21  
More rain falling on altered landscapes. As climate change brings increasingly heavy rains, the modifications people have made to the environment—paving surfaces, draining wetlands, and clearing forests—cause low-lying areas to flood and creeks, rivers, and…
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Seafood, Seagrass, and Storms: North Carolina Plan Would Protect Coast—and Livelihoods

By Leda Cunningham   10/12/21  
Bordered in part by a thin chain of barrier islands—the Outer Banks—the sounds, shorelines, and marshes of North Carolina’s coast form one of the largest estuary systems in the country. The seagrass found in its…
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NC Republican leaders, Gov. Cooper reach compromise on controversial energy bill

By Lucille Sherman and Adam Wagner   10/01/21  
Duke Energy would be able to lock in rate increases over a three-year period under a compromise N.C. Senate Republicans and Gov. Roy Cooper struck this week on a piece of controversial energy legislation.  
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Hurricane Dorian Swamps North Carolina’s Outer Banks

By The New York Times   09/07/21  
The storm pelted North Carolina with rain and wind. Hurricane Dorian, the storm that devastated the Bahamas and put much of the southeastern United States on edge, battered the coast of North Carolina with heavy…
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Climate Change Is Bankrupting America’s Small Towns

By Christopher Flavelle   09/02/21  
 It’s been almost five years since Hurricane Matthew flooded this small town on the coastal plain of North Carolina. But somehow, the damage keeps getting worse.
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House environmental budget appropriates money for flood control … then rolls back flood control protections

By Lisa Sorg   08/11/21  
The House amended the budget Wednesday night to strip the isolated wetlands language from the bill. The House released its $25.7 billion budget proposal this week, and unlike previous legislative sessions when lawmakers held a veto-proof majority,…
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Interior Department to review proposal for first wind power project off North Carolina coast

By Zack Budryk   07/29/21  
The Interior Department is set to conduct an environmental review of a proposed wind energy project that, if approved, would be the first off the coast of North Carolina, the department announced Thursday.
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Colonial Pipeline could face enormous daily fine after massive NC fuel leak, feds say

By Joe Marusak   07/09/21  
Colonial Pipeline Co. could face daily fines of up to $200,000 per violation if it fails to improve the way it detects leaks in its U.S. pipeline system, after a massive gasoline leak in Huntersville,…
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Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight the Rising Sea?

By Christopher Flavelle   03/14/21  
Bobby Outten, a county manager in the Outer Banks, delivered two pieces of bad news at a recent public meeting. Avon, a town with a few hundred full-time residents, desperately needed at least $11 million…
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North Carolina panel moves to weaken building energy conservation rules

By Elizabeth Ouzts   01/07/21  
A change to North Carolina’s building code would let developers skimp on insulation and other energy-saving basics in exchange for flashier elements such as solar panels and super-efficient appliances.
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North Carolina’s 2020 Hurricane Season

By Chief Meteorologist Gary Stephenson North Carolina   12/01/20  
The 2020 Atlantic Basin tropical season was predicted to be an active one, and it was. More specifically, North Carolina saw its fair share of storms in 2020.
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As mold grows in the aftermath of hurricanes, more NC asthma patients suffer

By Lynn Bonner   10/30/20  
In North and South Carolina, sea-level rise is most noticeable in counties along the coast, where beaches shrink, dunes disappear and homes crumble, but the effects of climate change reach well inland. “Beyond the Beach”…
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Three states — Maryland, Virginia, N. Carolina — to collaborate on offshore wind projects

By Patricia Sullivan   10/29/20  
The windblown coastal states of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina will join forces to build offshore power projects and promote the region as a hub for offshore wind energy and industry, the states’ governors announced…
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The Effects Of Climate Change Are Already Impacting North Carolinians

By Stacia Brown & Frank Stasio   10/22/20  
It’s estimated that annual average temperatures in North Carolina will rise between 2 and 5 degrees by the middle of this century, and 2019 was the warmest year on record for the state. This heat…
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