Louisiana's climate action plan sees billions pledged to reduce emissions after first year
Author: Mark Schleifstein
The first year of Louisiana's Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 was marked by industry commitments to spend billions on facilities to help the state meet that goal, according to the report approved last week by Gov. John Bel Edwards' Climate Initiatives Task Force. Top accomplishments include construction of or plans to build new solar projects that would triple the renewable energy generated in Louisiana, increasing solar power in the state to 3 gigawatts. That remains a small portion of the state's total commercial electric generation capacity in 2021, about 24 gigawatts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. More than $21 billion in new or expanded industrial projects aimed at carbon reduction include new facilities manufacturing components for electric vehicles; producing alternative fuels; creating carbon capture and storage facilities; and new low- or no-carbon ammonia and hydrogen production facilities, the report said. And the state's universities and trade schools have expanded programs geared toward employment in the move to a low-carbon future, the report said. Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, representing environmental and "climate justice" organizations on the task force, urged staff to recognize that not all carbon reduction successes are equal. While reducing vehicle emissions and increasing efforts to make buildings energy-efficient are important, Louisiana's industrial sector represents 66% of the state's carbon emissions.