Gov. Edwards joins ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, shares how Louisiana fights climate change

Louisiana News

FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, a flame burns at the Shell Deer Park oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas. With the viral outbreak spreading to more countries, the price of oil has dropped precipitously as global demand weakens even further. That has sent shares tumbling for oil giants like Exxon and Chevron while smaller producers with idling rigs continue to slash jobs. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Governor John Bel Edwards announced the latest in his push to help Louisiana fight climate change. Louisiana has joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s “Race to Zero” campaign.

This is a global effort of thousands of governments, higher education institutions and businesses committed to taking actions to continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to avoid further worsening effects of climate change on the world’s communities.

The governor joined a panel with other governors to talk about how the state is feeling climate change impacts and what needs to be done to slow it. He said Louisiana is already feeling the harsh impacts of climate change.

He has made a pledge to have net-zero carbon emissions in the state by 2050. He is already putting efforts in place to start the shift.

Timeline:

  • By 2025, reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels; 
  • By 2030, reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 40-50% of 2005 levels; and 
  • By 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero; 

“That’s why the wind and solar are so important on the front end with respect to how we’re going to power the chemical manufacturing and so forth and then the investments in carbon capture and sequestration,” Gov. Edwards said.

He said he doesn’t expect to see the chemical manufacturing industry changing drastically soon but those adjustments are things he says can help in the short term.

“You can make a conscious decision to power that process that is better for the environment and reduces greenhouse emission,” Gov. Edwards said.

The Climate Initiatives Task Force, created in 2020, is meeting with industry and environmental leaders to begin the plan.

“They will produce a detailed plan so we won’t only have the aspirational goal to be net-zero by 2050, we will have a plan to follow in order to make sure we get there,” Gov. Edwards said.

He gave support for the infrastructure bills before Congress, which have funding in place for climate initiatives and coastal protections.

“Rising sea levels, we have coastal erosion, and subsidence all coming at one time. It’s the perfect trifecta. We need storm surge barriers. We need that marsh between our populated areas,” Gov. Edwards said.

He believes Louisiana is in a place to experience climate change firsthand and also make some major changes to fight it. Gov. Edwards will be traveling to Glasgow, Scotland to meet with world leaders to discuss how they are tackling climate change issues in their regions.

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