Nevada releases sweeping ‘State Climate Strategy’ to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A year in the making, Nevada released its “State Climate Strategy” Tuesday, launching a website to communicate a “roadmap for state and local policymakers.”

A stated goal of the strategy: Reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 — in stages, by reaching goals of reducing emissions by 28 percent by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030.

“It’s a new era for climate action in Nevada,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “The effects of climate change can be seen and felt in every corner of Nevada, impacting our collective public health, threatening our natural landscapes and limited water resources, and challenging the vibrancy of our communities and economy.

“For the first time in Nevada’s history, we are doubling down to address climate change head-on,” Sisolak said. “The Nevada State Climate Strategy serves as the critical framework necessary to elevate climate action and foster a healthy, vibrant, climate-resilient future for all Nevadans – especially our most disadvantaged community members who live in the areas experiencing the greatest climate-related health and economic impacts.

“As we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action must play a key role in rebuilding a stronger, more climate-friendly and equitable economy for Nevada. Put simply, we must build back stronger,” he said.

According to an executive summary on the website, “Under current policies and based on the best available science, Nevada is currently on a path to reduce economy-wide GHG emissions 24% by 2025 (4% short of the 28% goal) and 26% by 2030 (19% short of the 45% goal), thus missing the emissions-reduction goals. Consequently, new mitigation-focused policies, programs, investments, and regulations are needed to put the state on the path toward realizing net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.”

The summary cites these goals:

  • Provide a framework for reducing Nevada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all economic sectors
  • Lay the groundwork for climate adaptation and resilience, and
  • Establish a structure for continued, ongoing climate action across the state.

“By meeting the state’s emission reduction targets, Nevada would prevent between $172 and $786 million of economic damages by 2030 and up to $4 billion by 2050,” according to the summary. “Investing in climate mitigation policies and strategies will also save untold lives, improve the health of Nevada’s communities, and create a stronger workforce.”

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation, electricity production, industry, residential and commercial activity and land use will all be subject to evaluation and policy changes targeted at further reductions.

The strategy lays out four key metrics for evaluating climate policies: GHG emissions-reduction potential, climate justice, economic implications and implementation feasability.

“Climate justice” deals with considerations for impact on populations that have “disproportionately borne the burden of the impacts of climate change.” The state aims to ensure involvement of “communities of color, low-income households, and tribal partners” in decisions that are both economic and socioeconomic.

The passage of legislation in 2019 (SB 254) has already laid the foundation for some of the goals cited in the climate strategy.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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