Maine Governor Janet Mills today announced her plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance. She stated that “Today I am excited to announce that Maine is now the 22nd member-state of the United States Climate Alliance. While the federal government ignores its responsibility to combat climate change, Maine will work with states across the country to meet the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord.”
By joining the Alliance, governors commit to:
With Maine as its newest member, the Alliance represents half (50 percent) of the U.S. population and nearly an $11 trillion economy. The climate and clean energy policies of these states have created 1.6 million renewable energy and energy efficiency jobs, equivalent to over half of all clean energy jobs in the United States. The climate and clean energy policies Alliance states have put into place cover 35 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Governor Mills also announced this morning that in the coming weeks her administration will introduce legislation to create the Maine Climate Council. The Climate Council will consist of commissioners and key state leaders, science and technical experts, non-profit leaders, and representatives of climate-impacted industries. It will be established in statute, solicit public input, and will report regularly to the public on progress toward goals. The Council will lead efforts to reduce Maine greenhouse gas emissions. And, with the Council’s leadership, Maine will achieve 80 percent renewable energy in our electricity sector by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
U.S. Climate Alliance Executive Director Julie Cerqueira welcomed Governor Mills’ announcement, noting, “Climate Change poses a real threat to Maine’s communities and economy. The Northeast region is already seeing increases in coastal flooding and extreme precipitation. By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, Governor Mills is setting the stage for Maine to lead on climate action through priorities like investing in local renewable energy production and enhancing the state’s natural and working lands.”
The Alliance was formed in June 2017 in response to President Trump’s announced intent to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Each state commits to reducing their emissions in line with the U.S. target under Paris, and all have enacted new climate policy measures since joining the Alliance. In September, the Alliance announced a suite of new commitments, including the deployment of $1.4 billion to decarbonize transportation and take steps to protect natural and working lands as carbon sinks by 2020.
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 governors from across the U.S. 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.
Alliance states and territories are achieving lower levels of air pollution, delivering more energy savings to homes and businesses, preparing more effectively for climate impacts, generating more electricity from zero-carbon sources, and collectively employing over 40% more workers in the clean energy sector than the rest of the country. For more information on Alliance members’ bipartisan, cross-sector climate action, see our Fact Sheet.