Nevada has outlined a strategy to go net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, through a lengthy document called Nevada Climate Initiative; there the road map is set for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions all across its economic sectors. Climate justice is one of the highlights of the document.
The plan was presented this week by governor Steve Sisolak, who mandated the report; which is presented as the first-ever State Climate Strategy. It establishes a framework for the state in advancing on its climate change efforts, by decarbonizing the transportation sector and moving away from natural gas and fossil fuels.
“Our State Climate Strategy was developed using the best available science, combined with robust input from thousands of Nevadans through a series of listening sessions on a full range of climate topics, a climate survey, consultation with subject-matter experts, stakeholder convenings, webinars, and more,” the report says.
At the report’s core, lays out a pathway for decarbonizing the transportation sector through the electrification of it; this sector is the single most contributor to the state’s emissions. Even though the Strategy does not outline strict policies, it does analyze several ways to develop new ones with climate change at its center.
For Kristen Averyt, former president of the Desert Research Institute and lead of the report, it is a “living document. We have to get net-zero emissions and nothing is off the table. We just have to be smart about how we gonna do it,” she said, quoted by the Nevada Independent.
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NV Energy at the center of Nevada’s strategy
Policy analysis was made using four reference points: policy’s potential for decreasing emissions, climate justice considerations, economic implications and the legal feasibility of a certain policy. About climate justice, the report underlines:
“Across the U.S. and in Nevada, low-income communities, people of color, and Indigenous populations have disproportionately borne the burden of climate change impacts. As temperatures continue to rise and climate-related challenges expand and intensify, particular attention must be paid to these vulnerable populations.”
As the company NV Energy serves 90% of Nevada’s electricity, the company is at the front and center of this strategy. About the report, Jennifer Schuricht NV Energy’s spokesperson said “we look forward to working with our policymakers as we pursue these opportunities.”
Nevertheless, on a filed report by the company to Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission, supporting net-zero goals for 2050, warned about ruling policies that eliminate entirely fossil fuel production, or limit the carbon intensity from existing plants, until new renewable alternatives are available.