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CASE STUDIES

In depth coverage of our energy policies and principles in action. 

Case Studies.

Influencing State Action 

The Maine Climate Council 

Case Study Maine Climate Council.png

The Maine Climate Council, created by 2019 Public Law, Chapter 476 (LD 1679, An Act To Promote Clean Energy Jobs and To Establish the Maine Climate Council), is charged with developing a plan to meet state GHG emission reduction mandates. The Climate Council will develop an Action Plan and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Maine Department of Transportation will develop rules to implement the Action Plan.  Manufacturers, like all other Maine citizens, have multiple opportunities to affect the effectiveness and efficiency of the Action Plan and resulting rules. The extensive experience of Maine manufacturers in dramatically increasing renewable energy use and energy efficiency over the last forty years can be invaluable in this process.

 

Timeline:

  • Council kick-off September 26, 2019

  • Working groups develop, model, and recommend strategies from October 2019 until summer 2020

  • Summer/Fall 2020 - Maine Climate Council considers and prioritizes strategies for Action Plan

  • State Climate Action Plan delivered December 1, 2020 and plan is updated every 4 years

  • Council and working groups continue to meet to monitor progress

  • DEP reports on state greenhouse gas emissions every 2 years

Manufacturers participated in the development of the legislation establishing the Climate Council and since engaged at all levels of the Climate Council.  Several manufacturers sit on the Climate Council and at least one manufacturing representative or ally participates in each the Climate Council’s working groups: Energy, Buildings & Infrastructure, Transportation, and Natural & Working Lands. 

 

One of the key tools that manufacturers can utilize to influence the work of the Climate Council is the actual language of the legislation, which requires that any agency rules MUST:

  • Be consistent with the climate action plan, as adopted and updated by the Climate Council

  • Prioritize GHG emission reductions by sectors that are the most significant sources of GHG emissions, taking into account gross GHG emission reductions achieved by each sector since 1990 and taking into account the cost-effectiveness of future gross GHG emission reductions by each sector;

  • Be fair and equitable and account for and give significant weight to GHG emission reductions already achieved by various sectors; and

  • May establish a mechanism for crediting voluntary measures that quantifiably and reliably sequester additional carbon in forests, farms and coastal lands in the State or by the use of materials that sequester additional carbon.

 

In addition, the legislation requires that the Action Plan and rules adopted in accordance with it, do the following:

  • Prioritize the welfare of the State's citizens and visitors and recognize and foster the value of the State's natural resources and natural resource-based industries;

  • Encourage diversity, inclusion and equity;

  • Provide education and training opportunities when appropriate;

  • Build upon existing global, national and state plans and partnerships for addressing climate adaptation, emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction;

  • Encourage investments that prevent and proactively mitigate risk;

  • Encourage, foster and utilize the most recent scientific and technical information available;

  • Analyze technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of potential solutions; and

  • Incorporate means for measuring progress.

 

In addition to participation in the working groups, manufacturers can help ensure that the Action Plan and implementing rules are cost-effective and focused on the “low hanging fruit” by periodically meeting with the Council leadership and working group chairs, as well as key legislative leaders and the Governor’s office.  Articulating a clear vision of manufacturer’s priorities for state action will help ensure that state leaders focus on these areas.

 

For more information on the Maine Climate Council and its working groups, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/future/initiatives/climate/climate-council

 

For more information on climate change related to Maine, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/dep/sustainability/climate/index.html