Governor Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force published the Louisiana Climate Initiatives Interim Report earlier this month, which outlines the process by which the Task Force plans to develop climate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Louisiana.

In February 2020, Governor Edwards committed to forming a Climate Initiatives Task Force for the purpose of developing recommendations to address greenhouse gas emissions. Executive Order JBE 2020-18, issued on August 19, 2020, formally established the Task Force.

The Executive Order set forth greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, including that Louisiana should reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025; by 40-50% of 2005 levels by 2030; and to net zero by 2050. These goals are in line with the Paris Climate Accord, as well as commitments made by other states and businesses. The Task Force is charged with making recommendations to achieve these goals.

The Climate Initiatives Task Force is made up of 23 members and supported by six sector committees and four advisory groups, all together consisting of over 135 experts from the government, colleges, private sector, and civil society. The Task Force submitted the Louisiana Climate Initiatives Interim Report, and it will decide what strategies are included in the Final Climate Report due in February 2022.

The committees and advisory groups held their first meetings in December, where they discussed their charges and objectives for the Task Force to consider. The Interim Report lists each groups’ goals, a selection of which are set forth below:

Finance Advisory Group:

  • Consider workforce implications and opportunities associated with proposed policy directions (including K-12 and higher education considering the long-term nature of this issue);

Science Advisory Group:

  • Advise Task Force and Governor’s Office of Coastal Affairs on core components of net GHG emission reduction strategies for consistency and to ensure that strategies are cumulative across sectors, including all major sources and sinks. Address advantages and hazards associated with emission reduction strategies (and risks and costs of not doing anything), emission reduction capabilities, and co-benefits;

Agriculture, Forestry, Conservation, and Waste Committee:

  • Examine opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon storage capacity through agriculture and forestry practices, conservation measures that promote natural carbon sinks, blue carbon opportunities, and waste management.

Manufacturing and Industry Committee:

  • Consider opportunities to deploy cleaner sources of energy to fuel operations, enhance efficiencies, reduce unintentional releases, capture and sequester or reuse emissions, offset emissions, and other measures that reduce net emissions from combustion and non-combustion manufacturing and industrial activities in Louisiana.

Mining, Oil, and Gas Committee:

  • Examine opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the mining, extraction, production, and transportation of oil and gas. This committee will consider carbon capture and sequestration, opportunities to enhance efficiencies and eliminate fugitive emissions, and other measures related to active and inactive elements of this sector.

The Louisiana Climate Initiatives Interim Report does not offer solutions or recommendations to address climate change in the state, however it does mark an important first step by outlining the goals of the different committees and groups and setting forth the process by which the Task Force will develop the Final Climate Report.

For more information see the Climate Initiatives Interim Report: https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/CCI-Task-force/CITF_InterimReportFINAL_02012021.pdf

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