RESOLUTION CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE
WHEREAS, the New England states and Eastern Canadian provinces have been international leaders on addressing climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting our economies and infrastructures to the challenges of a changing climate, and aggressively pursuing new policy approaches on a regional level; and
WHEREAS, the historic Conference of New England Governors’ and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ (NEG/ECP) ‘Climate Change Action Plan,’ adopted in 2001, set regional greenhouse gas emission targets for 2010 (a return to 1990 GHG emission levels), 2020 (10% below 1990 emission levels), and subsequently for 2050; and
WHEREAS, the NEG/ECP jurisdictions have significantly invested in energy efficiency measures and increased the amount of energy derived from renewable energy sources since 2001; and
WHEREAS, the total annual emissions for the region have trended downward since 2003 and conservative estimates indicate that the region is likely to meet or exceed its GHG reduction target for 2010; and
WHEREAS, climate change initiatives such as energy efficiency programs and renewable technology development offer the region significant opportunities to expand green jobs in the states and provinces and reduce costs to make our industries more competitive; and
WHEREAS, reducing reliance on carbon-based fuels through developing our indigenous New England and Eastern Canadian energy resources and using energy more efficiently contributes to energy security and price stability in our region.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NEG/ECP recognize the considerable progress made in the region in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions since 2001, and commend the fine work of the Climate Change Steering Committee, state and provincial agencies engaged in climate initiatives, and other organizations involved in supporting the regional efforts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the NEG/ECP remain committed to leading nationally and internationally on addressing climate change, and encourage the Climate Change Steering Committee to continue to develop programs, metrics and initiatives to further the goals of the Action Plan and look at sectoral opportunities in GHG emission reductions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT governors and premiers direct environment officials to undertake an assessment of operating and proposed regional GHG reduction programs in the U.S. and Canada and make recommendations to the 36 th NEG/ECP Conference on expanding coverage to the entire northeast region; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the NEG/ECP Climate Change Steering Committee is directed to examine and advise on the economic benefits of energy efficiency, GHG emission reductions, and community resiliency to extreme weather events; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the states and provinces in New England and Eastern Canada call on their respective federal governments to continue to support climate-related programs, initiatives and regulations, and support state and provincial programs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the NEG/ECP Climate Change Steering Committee is directed to report back on the status of achieving the region’s 2010 emission reduction target at the earliest opportunity.