• LaBella Associates

Climate Resiliency: 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, ad 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:


Connecticut

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. More information is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Climate-Change/GC3/Governors-Council-on-Climate-Change#:~:text=Taking%20Action%20on%20Climate%20Change,also%20known%20as%20the%20GC3.


Maryland

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.​ Learn more here: https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Air/ClimateChange/Pages/Greenhouse-Gas-Emissions-Reduction-Act-(GGRA)-Plan.aspx


New York

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, the 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. For more information on all three of these plans, visit: https://climate.ny.gov/

North Carolina

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. Learn more about the plan here: https://deq.nc.gov/energy-climate/climate-change/nc-climate-change-interagency-council/climate-change-clean-energy-plans-and-progress/nc-climate-risk-assessment-and-resilience-plan


Pennsylvania

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. More information on both programs can be found here: https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/climate/Pages/PA-Climate-Action-Plan.aspx and https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/climate/Pages/RGGI.aspx


Virginia

Perhaps one of the more aggressive states is Virginia’s 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. Read more here: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB1526 and https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+SB1027


For questions on all things related to climate resilience, please contact Jared Pristach at jpristach@labellapc.com.