BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana is full steam ahead with Governor John Bel Edwards’ plan to tackle climate change over the next 30 years. On Wednesday, the governor gave a ringing endorsement to many of the plans laid out by the Climate Initiatives Task Force in the Climate Action Plan.
He is continuing to make the push for net-zero emissions by 2050. Louisiana is a unique state where the carbon emissions largely come from industry compared to other states where the biggest producer is transportation.
“We have opportunities here that just don’t exist elsewhere and again we’re the state that is most burdened by climate change,” Gov. Edwards said.
The plan looks to help cut back on the emissions from the existing oil industry as well as invest in renewable energies. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is mapping out where offshore wind farms can be built.
“We’re currently working on the area identification, where’s the best areas, what energy areas should we have,” said Tershera Matthews, chief of emerging programs at BOEM.
Some members of the board are staying mindful of the impact the construction of these projects will have on the people of Louisiana. With the Biden Administration pushing for a massive expansion of wind power gigawatts, it will mean a lot of construction over the Gulf.
“Looking at 80,000 acres per gigawatt and you’re looking at 80 gigawatts the impact on fisheries, are you considering plans to compensate fishermen,” said task force member Virginia Burkett.
Governor Edwards said that change causes anxiety – but the steps to shape the way climate change will impact the state have to be taken now.
“If you wait until everything is figured out, the funding is in hand, the projects are all concrete, guess what you’ll never get started,” Gov. Edwards said.
The task force is trying to get some of these programs up and rolling as soon as possible, such as the offshore wind project that they’re hoping to start auctions as soon as a year from now.