Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his appointments to the Climate Initiatives Task Force, which will recommend strategies to cut statewide net greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025, 40-50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050, among other issues relating to how the climate affects Louisiana. 

In Executive Order 2020-18, Gov. Edwards called on leaders from across government, the private sector, academic institutions, and civil society to follow the science to arrive at policies able to help reduce Louisiana’s contributions to global climate change while fully recognizing Louisiana’s climate vulnerabilities and its industrial and economic characteristics.

“Just as we have done with coastal protection and restoration, we are building an inclusive, science-driven process to lead us to solutions to an incredibly complex and difficult problem,” said Gov. Edwards. “By engaging stakeholders from all sides of this issue in the development of these policies, we will take a comprehensive look at how to best meet the challenges of the future. I know we can achieve consensus on the most important points because I know we all want a better future for Louisiana and its people.” 

The Climate Initiatives Task Force will be supported by six working groups pertaining to sectors of the economy, and four advisory groups focused on science, equity, law and policy, and financial and economic concerns. These groups will include members of the Task Force as well as additional experts to be named by the Chair of the Task Force. 

“It is imperative that we develop a Louisiana-centric solution to this problem,” said Chip Kline, Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities and Chairman of the Climate Initiatives Task Force. “Just like the state’s coastal program, responding to an unprecedented environmental crisis takes leadership and, if done right, can spur economic development and create jobs while building a more resilient and equitable state for everyone.”

Meetings of the Climate Initiatives Task Force and its working groups and advisory groups will be open to the public. The first meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for 9:30 am on Monday, November 9 in House Committee Room 1 at the State Capitol.

Task Force appointees are as follows:

  • Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, as a member of the environmental and climate justice community
  • Chip Kline, Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities, Task Force Chair
    Designee: Harry Vorhoff, Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities
  • Dr. Chuck Brown, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  • Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration, Division of Administration
    Designee: Mark Moses, Assistant Commissioner, Facility Planning & Control 
  • Bren Haase, Executive Director, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
  • Thomas Harris, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
    Designee: Jason Lanclos, Director, State Energy Office 
  • Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development
    Designee: Brad Lambert, Deputy Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development 
  • Mike Strain, Commissioner, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
    Designee: Joey Breaux, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Soil and Water Conservation
  • Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary, Department of Transportation and Development
    Designee: Dr. Eric Kalivoda, Deputy Secretary, Department of Transportation and Development
  • Timothy Hardy, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P., designee for the President of the Louisiana Senate
  • Selby Bush, Head of Corporate Affairs, BHP Petroleum, designee for the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
  • Bill Robertson, designee of Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell
  • Tyler Gray, President and General Counsel, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association
  • Gregory M. Bowser, President and CEO, Louisiana Chemical Association
  • Jonathan Bourg, Director of Resource Planning and Market Operations at Entergy, as a representative of an electric utility
  • Dr. Virginia Burkett, Chief Scientist for Climate and Land Use Change at the United States Geological Survey, as a nonvoting representative of a federal scientific agency
  • Karen Gautreaux, Director of Government Relations at the Louisiana Nature Conservancy, as a member of the environmental nonprofit community
  • Flozell Daniels, President and CEO of the Foundation for Louisiana, as a member with experience in community development and engagement
  • Dr. Terrence Chambers, Director of the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, as a member of Louisiana’s academic community and climate justice community
  • Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar, Tribal Chief of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, as a member of an indigenous tribe, nation, or community
  • Robert Verchick, Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar and Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans, as a member with special qualifications and experience in climate change policy
  • Camille Manning-Broome, President and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence, as a member at-large.
  • A representative of local government perspectives - TBD