Leading from the Left

Friday, February 23, 2007

Global Warming Commission Makes Recommendations

Global Warming is serious. And let's be honest, few in this country have really begun to address it. Other countries have set high goals, but the US government, most state governments and nearly all local governments have side-stepped taking significant measures to reduce green house gas emissions.

If we're going to be serious about climate change, then every decision we make needs to be seen through the filter of global warming. We have to be asking ourselves, "Does this decision reduce or increase the emissions of green house gases?" We have to ask this question whether we're talking about land-use planning, building construction, transportation, where to site a garbase transfer station, or even what kind of lightbulb to put in our living room lamp.

NC's Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change took a big step forward yesterday when it made a series of recommendations. It's a little early to tell which of these recommendations will make it into law this year, but the momentum seems to be on the right side. Here are some of the key recommendations:

1. State government should reduce energy consumption by 20% in 20 years.
2. New state buildings should meet green standards, such as LEEDS.
3. Place a fee on power bills to fund a program that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy.
4. Revise building codes to require minimum energy efficiency in new residential and commericial buildings.
5. Create a Renewable Energy Porfolio standard
6. Set new energy efficiency standards for appliances.

I'll keep you posted on how these recommendations progress in the General Assembly.