Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

September 26, 2019

Maine Climate Council starts work on 2020 plan

janet mills at un Courtesy / Office of Gov. Janet Mills Gov. Janet Mills on Monday told the United Nations General Assembly that Maine will be carbon-neutral by 2045, and on Thursday the Maine Climate Council was scheduled to begin figuring out how.

The newly appointed Maine Climate Council starts its work today to help the state meet goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, boosting renewable energy use, and making the Maine economy carbon-neutral.

Scheduled to hold its inaugural meeting Thursday morning at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell, the 39-member group is co-chaired by Hannah Pingree, director of the Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, and Jerry Reid, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.

A spokesperson for Gov. Janet Mills confirmed that the governor will attend today's meeting, which will wrap up with keynote remarks from Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The spokesperson also said the full council will meet quarterly, and that its working groups will meet at least monthly.

Besides state lawmakers and members of Mills' administration, the council includes scientific and technical experts, business and nonprofit leaders, municipal officials, a tribal representative and a representative of Maine youth.

It aims to have a Climate Action Plan ready by Dec. 1, 2020, with progress reports every two years and an updated plan every four years.

The plan will include recommendations for helping Maine cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2040 and at least 80% by 2050 in accordance with new legislation (LD 1679). Mills has also signed legislation to increase Maine's Renewable Portfolio Standard to 80% by 2040 and a goal of 100% by 2050 (LD 1494).

Both were discussed at E2Tech's energy legislation briefing in Portland on Wednesday, where Dan Burgess, director of the Governor's Energy Office and a member of the Maine Climate Council, said that LD 1494 "kickstarts a lot of renewable development."

In a news release last week announcing the Climate Change Council members, Pingree said: "The future of Maine's communities, our state's economy and the lives and health of our citizens depend on us stepping up to confront the challenge of climate change. I look forward to leading Maine's Climate Council as we work to meet our emission reduction targets, create new clean energy jobs and improve the resiliences of our communities."

Reid noted that "Maine has unique challenges when it comes to addressing the problems caused by climate change, but with those challenges come unique opportunities."

The Climate Action Council will convene several working groups from within its membership, including ones focused on scientific and technical issues, transportation, and the impact of climate on coastal communities and marine life. 

Mills earlier this week told the United Nations General Assembly that Maine will be carbon-neutral by 2045. She is Maine's first sitting governor to address the international body.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF