Never before have local actions been so critical. Governors, mayors, and town boards have initiated and expanded their commitments to climate action even as the U.S. federal government has stepped away from international climate leadership and rolled back more than 95 Obama-era climate policies, ambitions and regulations. There is a fascinating US interactive map, populated in real time, showing a geographical overview of financial incentives and regulatory policies, state-by-state, that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency here.
States, Districts, and Territories are taking the initiative to switch over to renewable energy sources.
Already, in 2015, Hawaii established a goal of 100% renewable electricity sources by 2045.
In 2018, under Governor Jerry Brown, California required that 50% of their electricity be powered by renewable resources by 2025 and 60% by 2030, while calling for a “bold path” toward 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2045.
By May 2019, (following Washington D.C. in January; New Mexico in March; Nevada and Puerto Rico in April) Washington became the 5th state to pass a 100% clean energy target. By the third week of June, New York’s Senate & Assembly both passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Signed by Governor Cuomo on July 18, 2019, it is the most comprehensive and aggressive climate change legislation in the nation.
Gov. Janet Mills addressed the UN on September 23, 2019, and pledged that Maine will go carbon neutral by 2045; Colorado signed legislation which reduces 2030 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%; Nevada signed legislation to move to 50% renewable by 2030, and several more states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, adopted plans to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, with Washington delivering legislation mandating 100% clean electricity by 2045.
Cities, towns and municipalities are equally motivated: over 153 cities and thirteen counties have already adopted ambitious 100% clean energy goals. Six additional U.S. cities — Aspen CO, Burlington VT, Georgetown TX, Greensburg KS, Rock Port MO, and Kodiak Island AK — have already hit their targets, generating 100% of their energy from clean, non-polluting and renewable sources.
Map data from the SIERRA CLUB ©2019 Google, INEGI
CITY, COUNTY, TOWN & STATE PLANS
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Many changes are going to come about because politicians fight to control global warming through laws and regulations. Some of them are worthy of our praise and support. These governors have joined the US Climate Alliance and have pledged to uphold the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement within their respective state.