Gov. Janet Mills will unveil her administration’s plan to reduce the negative impacts of climate change during a virtual public event on Dec. 1.

Mills’ vision for reducing emissions, preparing for the impacts of climate change and strengthening Maine communities will be based on a draft of a new Climate Action Plan that was released Thursday by members of the Maine Climate Council.

For the past year, more than 250 Maine citizens participated in Climate Council meetings, completed surveys and advocated for a Climate Action Plan in the hopes of positioning Maine as a world climate action leader.

In September 2019, Mills became the only U.S. elected official to address the United Nations climate summit. She took that moment to announce an executive order aimed at making Maine’s economy carbon neutral by 2045.

“We’ve got to unite to preserve our precious common ground, for our common planet, in uncommon ways for this imperative common purpose,” Mills told the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit. “Maine won’t wait. Will you?”

Mills created a 39-person Climate Council in September 2019 to “advise the governor and Legislature on ways to mitigate the causes of, prepare for and adapt to the consequences of climate change.”

The draft of the state’s Climate Action Plan recommends that the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The plan suggests that Maine may warm by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 and by up 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 – making Maine as warm as Rhode Island is now.

If left unchecked, increasing land and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, more frequent and severe storms, shorter winters, and disrupted agricultural seasons will cause irreparable harm to Maine, according to the findings of the draft Climate Action Plan.

The plan focuses on setting targets for heat pumps and electric vehicle adoption, and goals to protect 30 percent of public land and water resources by 2030, said Kathleen Meil, director of policy and partnerships for Maine Conservation Voters. A new, ongoing “equity subcommittee” will support planning and implementation across Maine’s climate strategies to ensure shared benefits for all Maine people, she said.

“While the hard work of developing Maine’s Climate Action Plan is behind us, the vital work of implementing that plan is just beginning,” Meil said. “Maine must meet the promise of the plan to achieve our climate goals, move toward a sustainable, clean energy economy, and ensure healthy, resilient and equitable communities.”


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