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Statement: Gov. Cooper’s new executive order reaffirms North Carolina’s goals to address climate change

For Immediate Release

On Friday, Jan 7th, Governor Cooper issued an executive order that works to transition North Carolina toward a clean energy based, more equitable economy. It sets goals for environmental justice, climate, and transportation. 

Executive Order 246, “North Carolina’s Transformation to a Clean, Equitable Economy,” updates the state’s goals to match that of current science and strengthens North Carolina’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It strives to reduce statewide GHG emissions to at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions as soon as possible, no later than 2050. It also creates goals for 1.25 million registered zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and for 50% of new car sales to be zero-emission by 2030. 

To meet these goals, the Order requires state agencies to develop actionable plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across North Carolina’s economy. The order also directs every Cabinet office to incorporate environmental justice in decision-making and improve transparency with the public.

In response, Krista Early, advocate with Environment North Carolina, released the following statement:

“From inland to coastal flooding, more frequent wildfires and intense heat waves, North Carolinians have felt the impacts of climate change in every corner of the state. We thank the Governor for following through on his promise to address climate change and protect the health of our communities. In 2018, transportation was the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in North Carolina, so it is critical that zero emission cars are part of this climate plan.”

“North Carolina can follow the lead of other states that have taken action to reduce pollution from cars and trucks by adopting the Zero Emission Vehicle program and the Advanced Clean Truck rule. These policies will help North Carolina meet these new goals for accelerating electric transportation and drastically cutting pollution.”