On the heels of joining the international Race to Zero campaign and after announcing that the largest permanent carbon sequestration project in the world will begin construction in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards will travel to Scotland this week for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties to make the case that while Louisiana is suffering severe consequences related to the world’s changing climate, no state is better positioned to be a leader in the changing energy landscape.
The Governor will be joined by cabinet secretaries and advisors, including members and staffers of his Climate Initiatives Task Force, to help shape the international discussion about climate change, cleaner energy, and creating sustainable communities in the face of a changing climate. The Governor and his team will depart on October 28 and will attend COP26 and related meetings beginning on October 31 until November 4.
“No state in our nation is more affected by climate change than Louisiana, but it’s also true that no state is better positioned to be part of the solution to the problems facing our world,” Gov. Edwards said. “In Glasgow, we will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, representing different governments, but also corporations and different sectors of the clean energy movement. Make no mistake: an industry-wide transition to cleaner, less environmentally impactful energy production and utilization is going to happen regardless of if Louisiana participates, so it’s best that Louisiana be a leader in this space. For my part, I want world leaders to know that in Louisiana we have the most productive manufacturing workforce in the nation, a workforce that makes essential products that drive the global economy, and a workforce that is ready to make those products but with a greater reduced carbon footprint. This same workforce can build wind farms, run solar projects, drill class six wells, and work at blue hydrogen facilities like the Air Products investment announced last week. We will focus on securing new investments for economic development, job creation and greenhouse gas reductions to navigate through the energy transition and to a better, cleaner future.”
“I look forward to joining the Louisiana delegation in Scotland and reinforcing Gov. Edwards’ message regarding Louisiana’s status as a pre-eminent location to invest in the global energy transition,” said Don Pierson, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. “The conference affords us a unique opportunity to engage companies that may have a strong interest in doing business in the state, now firmly established as a major player in the clean energy economy.”
"Louisiana’s geology and existing industry base position us to be a major hub for carbon management projects and activity, and we have been among the leaders in championing initiatives to promote carbon management though Carbon Capture and Sequestration,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Tom Harris. “Carbon management is increasingly a simple fact of doing business in the world economy now, and CCS can and should be one of the key tools we use as we transition from the fuels and practices we have known to what comes next."
“For over a year, experts from many different disciplines and backgrounds have come together at the Climate Initiatives Task Force to discuss Louisiana’s best path to addressing our greenhouse gas footprint while promoting an inclusive, productive economy,” said Harry Vorhoff, chair of Louisiana’s Climate Initiatives Task Force. “To be successful at home and globally we are going to have to rely on these kinds of dialogues between partners in government, academia, the private sector and civil society to build solutions that work in the real world and for real people. COP26 brings all of these partners together at the highest level.
“For all the progress and benefits that come from the essential work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Louisiana must also keep an eye firmly fixed on adapting to the challenges that are here today,” said Charles Sutcliffe, Louisiana’s chief resilience officer. “I am eager to learn how others around the world are integrating both of these urgent needs and to share our state’s story of how we have built and are enhancing resilience in the face of more frequent extreme weather and environmental change.”
"Here in Louisiana we have the capacity to lead the nation and the globe on climate adaptation and mitigation, and I look forward to helping to build the partnerships that will make this vision a reality," said Camille Manning-Broome, president and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence. "A just transition for our state means taking a comprehensive approach that reduces our climate vulnerability, leverages economic opportunities, and lifts up our most vulnerable populations and communities. By channelling our opportunities and doing everything we can to address these global challenges today, we can ensure that Louisiana remains a place where people love to live, work, and play for generations to come."
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To learn about COP26, click here.
ABOUT LOUISIANA’S CLIMATE INITATIVES
Under an executive order Gov. Edwards signed in 2020, Louisiana launched a Climate Initiatives Task Force to recommend, from the ground up, policies to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The Governor reaffirmed his commitment to reaching net zero by 2050 when he joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to state-led action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and when he announced earlier in October that the state has joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s “Race to Zero” campaign. Race to Zero is a global effort of thousands of governments, higher education institutions and businesses committed to taking actions to continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to avoid further worsening effects of climate change on the world’s communities.
For over a year, Louisiana’s Climate Initiatives Task Force has been exploring ways to lower the state’s GHG emissions while positioning the state to prosper economically in a low carbon, more inclusive economic future. The Climate Initiatives Task Force consists of representatives with diverse view points from the scientific community, state government, private sector, and civil society. The Task Force will issue their final Climate Action Plan of recommendations for Louisiana by February 1, 2022.
To learn about the work of the Louisiana Climate Initiatives Task Force, click here.