New Report Backs Bold NV Climate Strategy
RENO — The State of Nevada Climate Initiative released a State Climate Strategy today. The release of the Climate Strategy follows a broad and inclusive stakeholder process and comes a few weeks after the release of a separate report published by Evolved Energy, GridLab, NRDC, and Sierra Club—“Pathways and Policies to Achieve Nevada’s Climate Goals”—that details how Nevada can meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
“Whether it’s the upcoming 2021 legislative session or ongoing administrative rulemaking processes, Nevada leaders will have many opportunities to act on climate in this legislative session and over the next few years,” said Dylan Sullivan, a Reno-based senior scientist at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Home to the fastest-warming cities in the country and facing a grave unemployment crisis, our state must take advantage of our unparalleled solar energy potential to create green jobs, grow the local economy, and ensure a more livable future. As we look to tackle the climate crisis and invest in renewable energy solutions, we must prioritize the low-income communities and communities of color that are most vulnerable in the climate crisis and already bear disproportionate burdens from air pollution and energy bills.”
While both reports call for bold action to reduce emissions in the electric, transportation, and building sectors, the pathways report provides additional clarity on how quickly the state must progress in these sectors in order to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 254, which establishes that Nevada should reduce emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030 to reach zero emissions by 2050.
The State Climate Strategy examines:
- The expansion of energy efficiency programs that make it easy and cheap for Nevadans to choose energy efficient options. The pathways report found that the State must implement energy efficiency programs to ensure that high-efficiency appliances are the market standard, with near 100 percent adoption by 2030.
- The adoption of a zero-emission vehicle program. The pathways report found that electric vehicles must make up half of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2030 and nearly all new vehicle sales by the late 2030s in order to meet state climate goals—a transition the state can facilitate by investing in charging infrastructure and adopting current and future zero-emission standards.
- Getting 100 percent of Nevada’s electricity from renewable sources by or before 2050. The pathways report shows that the state must move quickly toward this goal—reaching around 80 percent by 2030—and that increasing our renewable energy ambitions is important because plugging into clean electricity is essential to reducing emissions in the transportation and buildings sectors.
- An integrated resource planning process for gas utilities, where utility regulators would more closely evaluate the need for new investments in the gas system. The pathways report highlights the need to stop expanding the gas distribution system and scrutinize gas utility spending on new or replaced pipes to make sure they are necessary, cost-effective compared to alternatives, and compatible with Nevada’s climate goals.
“Nevadans are already too familiar with the impacts of the climate crisis,” said Elspeth DiMarzio, a campaign representative with the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. “Our leaders have the opportunity to protect Nevada’s communities from pollution and to lead the nation in tackling climate change. It’s time we take full advantage of our state’s abundance of renewable energy resources to replace costly, dirty fossil fuels. Our report lays out a set of policies to reach our climate goals and to revitalize our economy by building a sustainable and modern energy system that works for everyone.”
For more details on the report from Evolved Energy, GridLab, NRDC, and Sierra Club, please see this fact sheet and the full report. For more details on the State Climate Strategy, please see this press release.
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.