Last fall, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 80 (EO80) which details North Carolina’s support of the 2015 Paris Agreement Goals and commitments to the United States Climate Alliance. This order lists three goals that the state should strive to achieve by 2025: reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels, increase the number of registered, zero-emission vehicles to at least 80,000, and reduce energy consumption per square foot in state-owned buildings by at least 40% from fiscal year 2002-2003 levels. The Triangle Clean Cities program will be working in concert with regional stakeholders like Advanced Energy, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center and other councils of governments state-wide to identify the best strategies to help implement EO80 and accomplish the goals set by EO80.
Section 5 addresses alternative fuels and vehicles, specifically stating the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are working in conjunction to develop the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Plan which is focused on establishing best practices for ZEV adoption, increasing the number of ZEVs, and expanding the interstate and intrastate infrastructure for ZEVs. This affirmed state order provides a welcome opportunity for all to act in support and develop strategies to address climate change and promote climate change mitigation and adaptation measures with the guidance of the ZEV Plan.
Section 4 states NCDEQ’s responsibility to develop a North Carolina Clean Energy Plan (Clean Energy Plan) that guides those in the public and private sectors with creating a more modern and resilient energy grid that relies on innovative technologies and clean energy resources such as solar, wind, and clean energy storage. DEQ will work with businesses, utilities, technology developers, residents, local governments, and all other interested stakeholders in ensuring the use of clean transportation solutions, clean energy technologies, and energy efficiency measures. EO80 provides a unique opportunity to engage with state government in supporting alternative fuels and clean energy efforts.
The Triangle Clean Cities program is looking forward to working on integrating these goals with our own and enhancing North Carolina’s ability to combat climate change and provide innovative transportation solutions and infrastructure. Staff have already begun work to build on resiliency efforts through programming which links up to the State’s efforts and Climate Change Assessment and Resiliency Plan. Stakeholders interested in learning more should contact coalition coordinators Andrea Eilers, [email protected] or Mary Sell [email protected] for additional information.