Pennsylvania Prioritizes Climate, Shedding Its Fossil Fuel Past
Governor Wolf’s unprecedented executive order aligns the state with the Paris Agreement while also protecting residents’ health.
In a victory for the fight against climate change, Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order that prioritizes climate action and protects people’s health—the first of its kind in Pennsylvania’s history and a significant step away from the Keystone State’s long-held ties to the fossil fuel industry.
“His bold agenda is the first in state history to slash greenhouse gas emissions and align with the Paris Agreement, capture new clean energy growth in electric vehicles, and put Pennsylvanians to work while leading the way forward for a clean energy future,” says Jackson Morris, the eastern regional director for NRDC’s Climate & Clean Energy program.
In line with the Paris Agreement, Wolf’s directive commits his state, which ranks as one of the nation’s top polluters, to meet specific emissions reduction targets: a 26 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050.
The announcement comes just weeks after the state joined in the Transportation Climate Initiative—a multi-state commitment to reduce transportation emissions in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. And it comes after a years-long wave of state-led climate action in response to the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks. “This is a victory for climate leadership,” Jackson says, “and Pennsylvania is showing the nation how it’s done.”