Today, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to state-led action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Taking action to address climate change can strengthen our communities and our economy,” said Gov. Edwards, “and I am proud to join this group of Governors in committing to uphold the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Together, Louisiana and other Alliance states are demonstrating that there are different ways to decarbonize and that this can be done in a way that is balanced, implementable, and effective.”
“We have been following the good work in Louisiana since the Governor’s executive order, and the Climate Alliance is proud to welcome Louisiana into this coalition,” said Julie Cerqueira, the Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Alliance. “Alliance states have shown that climate action means economic growth and job creation with member states outperforming other states on per-capita economic output and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and we look forward to working with Louisiana and celebrating their progress as well.”
Last November, Gov. Edwards created a Climate Initiatives Task Force to recommend a package of policies and programs that will put Louisiana on the path to become a net-zero greenhouse gas emitting state by 2050. The Task Force’s recommendations will aim to avoid the worst impacts of climate change while improving the health and welfare of communities, preserving and restoring the environment, and advancing the state’s economic competitiveness. Louisiana will utilize the best available science to guide decisions and call on expertise from state government, colleges and universities, the private sector, and civil society to help inform and steer policy development. The Task Force will issue its report in February 2022.
As a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, Louisiana will have access to forums to discuss policy development with other states working on similar issues, have access to expertise, technical assistance, potential grant funds to develop and implement climate policy, and a seat at the table alongside other governors for conversations with the federal government about national climate policy.
By joining the Alliance, governors also commit to:
Implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 26–28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025
Track and report progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement, and
Accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.
Louisiana is the first Gulf South state to join the Alliance. With the addition of Louisiana, the Alliance’s membership now represents 57 percent of the U.S. population and 61 percent of U.S. GDP. The Alliance’s states work hand-in-hand and share expertise to develop, advance, and implement state climate policies and actions.
Launched on June 1, 2017 by the governors of Washington, New York, and California to help fill the void left by the previous administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Alliance has grown to include 24 governors from across the U.S. representing approximately 60% of the U.S. economy and 55% of the U.S. population. Governors in the Alliance have pledged to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, at least 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and collectively achieve overall net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.
The Alliance’s states and territories continue to demonstrate that climate action goes hand-in-hand with economic growth, job creation, and better public health. While reducing emissions by 18% between 2005 and 2021, Alliance members grew their collective GDP by nearly 30%. The coalition’s states and territories are employing more workers in the clean energy sector, achieving lower levels of dangerous air pollutants, and preparing more effectively for climate impacts and executing more pre-disaster planning than the rest of the country.