East Coast Legislation Updates: Six States With Climate Change Goals and Action Plans
Building resilient communities is more than just vowing to “go green.” It involves robust expertise in engineering, architecture, planning, geology, and environmental sciences; all working together to build energy-efficient buildings, reduce organic waste, electrify vehicles, and use of natural systems to combat the effects of an ever-changing climate. Resilience to extreme weather events such as flooding, drought, storms, and heat waves has become more important than ever to our communities.
Many states have already begun to recognize the need for climate resilience, emphasizing the importance of the infrastructure in the communities in which we live, work, and play. Federal investments totaling $47 billion have been specifically earmarked in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for preventing and mitigating damages from floods, wildfires, and other environmental risks that will be exacerbated under climate change.
With climate resilience legislation making its way down the east coast, our team has compiled some of the most notable states who have recently committed to climate change goals and action plans, these states include:
In 2021, Connecticut’s Governors Council on Climate Change (GC3) released Taking Action on Climate Change and Building a More Resilient Connecticut for All. The 57-page report details the background and process of the plan as well as provides recommendations and a progress tracker to stay accountable.
Released in February 2022, the 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan has a goal of 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 levels by 2030. With the help of federal incentives, Maryland expects to be able to achieve this goal.
New York’s Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan, released in December 2021, targets an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. The Climate Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) provides guidance on natural resilience measures to protect against sea level rise. And the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which amended the 2014 Community Risk and Resiliency Act, transformed how New York generates power by integrating more renewables into the electric grid.
Established in 2020, the Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan is a statewide vulnerability assessment meant to establish strategies for climate-related risk mitigation and nature-based solutions.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania released the Climate Action Plan in September 2021. This plan aims for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2050. In addition, the state established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) membership to cap carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants as of April 2022.
Perhaps one of the more aggressive states is Virginia with its 2020 Clean Economy Act, which has a goal of being 100% renewable by 2050. In addition, the 2020 Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act provides membership and funding for energy efficiency and flood protection throughout the commonwealth.
For questions on all things related to climate resilience, please contact Jared Pristach at email@example.com.
Jared is an Environmental Project Manager and Environmental Engineer responsible for coordination and successful completion of climate resilience projects and solar array development. He currently manages the Brownfield Cleanup Program, shoreline resilience, and solar design projects. Project experience includes Phase I and Phase II ESAs, NYSDEC State Superfund projects (including remedial design and construction oversight), remedial systems operation and maintenance, green infrastructure design, civil engineering site design, shoreline and streambank resilience planning, and structural engineering design of recreational facilities.