Governor Roy Cooper has released his detailed road map to reaching North Carolina’s climate-saving carbon reduction goals on schedule.
This Deep Decarbonization Pathways Analysis identifies the most promising opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the economy in the near-term. It also highlights the needs in further developing and commercializing emerging clean energy technologies in order to meet the state’s ultimate “carbon-neutrality” goals.
“In North Carolina, fighting climate change and strengthening our economy goes hand in hand,” said Governor Cooper. “In the past year, we’ve celebrated some of the largest economic development announcements in state history from companies that focus on clean energy and share our environmental priorities. This analysis will help us achieve pollution reduction while highlighting new market opportunities to ensure North Carolina remains on the forefront of the clean energy transition.”
“The report offers three scenarios, which vary according to the state’s potential pace of converting to all-electric buildings and vehicles, non-polluting energy production and fuels created using plant material or animal waste,” explains environmental reporter John Deem of the Winston-Salem Journal. “All three options would come within 1% of North Carolina’s 2025 target of a 40% greenhouse-gas reduction from 2005 levels, exceed the 2030 goal of cutting emissions in half and reach net-zero by 2050.”
Cooper’s plan stands as a welcome contrast to the mishmash non-plan adopted recently by the state’s Utilities Commission. NCLCV and other critics of that non-plan last week released a detailed review (“Scorecard”) explaining how it fails to meet the urgent climate action needs for North Carolina.
“The Utilities Commission’s initial carbon plan is a failure overall because it doesn’t provide the cheapest and most reliable path to carbon reduction — clean solar and wind energy with battery storage. Instead of relying on Duke Energy’s claims that it needs to build more gas-fired plants to best serve the people of North Carolina, the NC Utilities Commission should look at the facts. Duke Energy failed us with its dependence on gas and coal that proved unreliable in extreme weather and resulted in rolling blackouts statewide at Christmas,” said Robin Smith, NCLCV’s Director of Policy and Enforcement. “NCLCV hopes the Utilities Commission won’t allow Duke Energy to ignore their record or the growing case for affordable, reliable clean energy in the next round of this plan.”
In fact, the Utilities Commission could learn a thing or three by reading the Governor’s carbon reduction plans.