In response to President Donald Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, Delaware is joining other states to say it will continue to work toward climate goals.
Gov. John Carney announced on Monday that Delaware has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, after President Trump announced last week that he would withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. The Climate Alliance now includes 13 members.
“Delaware is the country’s lowest-lying state and, with 381 miles of coastline, climate change is a very real threat to our future,” Carney said. “As sea levels rise, more than 17,000 Delaware homes, nearly 500 miles of roadway and thousands of acres of wildlife habitat including our critical wetlands are at risk of permanent inundation. Rising average temperatures and an increase in extreme weather events also pose health risks to Delawareans, and threaten our economy. The U.S. should lead in the global fight against climate change. Delaware is proud to join this coalition of states providing that necessary leadership.”
The Paris Agreement called for the U.S. to achieve a 26-28 percent reduction of emissions, from 2005 levels, by 2025. Delaware’s continued commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to clean energy also will provide economic opportunity for Delawareans, and offer significant public health and environmental benefits.
Delaware's greenhouse gases come from three primary sources: energy production, transportation and industry. The state is working to reduce emissions in a number of ways, including through continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a nine-state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Delaware also has set renewable energy targets and increased energy efficiency with building codes, weatherization and other voluntary programs.
Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires action at all levels.
“We are proud of the progress the state has made and programs that help Delawareans drive cleaner cars and improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses," Garvin said. "There is still much work to be done to reduce Delaware’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions, and I look forward to working with our sister states through the U.S. Climate Alliance to meet Delaware’s pledge for the Paris Agreement.”
In the transportation sector, the state has incentivized the transition to cleaner fuels and electric vehicles, and now has a statewide network of charging stations.
Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, said the agency is committed to cleaner solutions.
“As we look to the future, it is imperative that we improve transportation resiliency to adapt to the effects of a changing climate. Incorporating the impact of climate change into our project planning and development, and adding more alternative fuel vehicles to our public transportation fleet each year are just two examples of how DelDOT is responding, and we thank Governor Carney for his leadership and commitment to this effort,” she said.