Louisiana Task Force Approves State’s First-Ever Climate Acton Plan
February 20, 2022
by Peter Maloney
February 20, 2022
A Louisiana task force has approved and presented to the state’s governor a Climate Action Plan that would set a goal of achieving zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
The Climate Action Plan recently unanimously approved by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force has three priority policy pillars: renewable electricity generation, industrial electrification, and industrial fuel switching to low- and no-carbon hydrogen.
The policies were tailored to reflect an updated inventory of the state’s greenhouse gas inventory, which was part of the action plan. The inventory showed that 64 percent of Louisiana’s GHG emissions are concentrated in the industrial sector, driven primarily by the state’s refining, chemical manufacturing, and natural gas processing facilities. Another 19 percent of the state’s overall GHG emissions come from the transportation sector, and 13 percent result from electric power generation.
The interim goals of the Climate Action Plan set several goals for renewable resource implementation, including 100 percent renewable or clean energy by 2035 with at least 80 percent from renewable sources, 5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind generation by 2035, 100 megawatts (MW) of energy storage by 2030, and a 30 percent increase in transmission infrastructure by 2030 and a 100 percent increase by 2050.
Some elements of the Climate Action Plan would require legislative action, such as the reinstatement of incentives for the installation of renewable resources and energy storage to encourage the purchasing of renewable power.
Other elements of the plan would require action on the part of the state’s Public Service Commission, such as a review of net metering policies and a determination of the best mechanisms for third parties to sell power back to the grid in order to encourage the generation of renewable power.
The industrial emissions reduction aspects of the plan call for “electrification to the extent practicable” and fuel and feedstock switching to alternative sources such as hydrogen and also provides support for research on carbon capture technologies.
The Climate Action Plan also charts a course for addressing the “persistent and complex” challenge of methane emitted from oil and gas infrastructure, particularly orphaned wells.
The transportation and built environment aspects of the plan calls for the installation of 250 electric vehicle charging stations per 100,000 residents by 2050. The plan also calls for legislation for energy efficiency and code upgrades that would require minimum efficiency levels in buildings.
The Climate Action Plan, a first for Louisiana and the first among the state’s neighbors on the Gulf of Mexico, was designed to align Louisiana with pledges made under the United Nation’s 2015 Paris Agreement and with goals set by the federal government, 25 other states, and hundreds of private companies.