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Cooper Ramps Up Clean Energy and Equity

On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a new executive order setting more aggressive goals for North Carolina’s greenhouse gas reductions and clean transportation progress, and directing state agencies to consider climate change and the disproportionate impacts it has on poor communities and communities of color when they make decisions. 

“We are excited that Gov. Cooper is continuing to lead our state on a just transition toward a clean energy and clean transportation economy,” said our Clean Energy Campaigns Director Montravias King. “‘Just’ is the key word here. This new executive order not only ramps up this transition for all North Carolinians but puts a focus on ensuring justice and equity for the communities most impacted by pollution and climate change, namely communities of color.”

Building on 2018’s Executive Order 80 setting goals of 80,000 electric vehicles on our state’s roads by 2025 and a 40% carbon emission reduction by 2025, this new Executive Order 246 calls for a far larger 1.25 million electric vehicles by 2030, 50% carbon reductions by 2030, and net-zero by 2050. Those carbon reductions are economy-wide; EO80’s goals were for the power sector only.

“This is an important day for our state,” Cooper said at a news conference. “I am excited to see the new green energy jobs … I do recognize that there is a lot more to do, but I believe it’s important to help establish a framework for all of us to succeed.”

His order also directs his Cabinet agencies to consider environmental justice impacts and the “social cost” of greenhouse gas emissions when making decisions. Each agency will have a dedicated staff member devoted to this important work. 

“Transforming North Carolina toward a clean energy and more equitable economy will provide good jobs and a healthy environment for generations of families across our state. To achieve our goals we must be clear, intentional, and determined,” said Gov. Cooper. “We’ve made monumental progress by developing a clean energy plan tailored to our state’s unique challenges and opportunities and passing into law required carbon reduction goals for utility providers. This order will assess our progress reducing climate pollution, and direct ways to curb environmental injustices, increase clean transportation options, and build more resilient communities in North Carolina.”

What would help us meet these goals here in North Carolina? If Congress passes the Build Back Better Act. Tell your senators to do it ASAP!

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