The Carney Administration, several key members of the General Assembly and important stakeholder groups, like the Sierra Club, have collaborated to produce Senate Bill 305, the Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act. This bill follows the issuance of Delaware’s Climate Action Plan in 2021, and establishes a statutory requirement of greenhouse gas emission reductions over the medium and long term to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on the State, establishing a mandatory and regularly updated plan to achieve those emission reductions and develop resilience strategies for the State, and requires State agencies to address climate change in decision-making and rulemaking.
Here are the important highlights of the bill:
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals:
- 50% by 2030
- 90% by 2050
- This is actually in line with the most ambitious states in the nation, only one state, Washington, has anything higher than that right now.
State Directives: The state will direct all agencies to incorporate the above Greenhouse Gas Reduction goals (GHG) into all regulations, current and future. No new regulation can be issued that negatively impacts the GHG goals. The state will require that the Climate Action Plan, sea level rise scenarios, temperature scenarios, and precipitation scenarios be incorporated into all regulations, current and future.
The state will require that, in any decision with respect to the purchase and use of equipment and goods; the siting, construction, and maintenance of State buildings; the assignment of agency personnel; the planning, design, and operation of State infrastructure; and the issuance of grants and funding for any of the foregoing, shall consider the State’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
Such directives and requirements will lead to the electricification of state fleets of vehicles, equipment and buildings. Further, DNREC is required to report every two years on the progress being made to implement the climate action plan. This report has to include actions taken by all agencies to reduce the impacts of climate change and increase resiliency and reduce emissions.
This bill will require updating the climate action plan every 5 years to include specific actions to further reduce emissions, monitor our progress, and what we need to do to course-correct going forward.
In preparing each update to the Climate Action Plan, the Department shall:
- Provide opportunities for public input throughout the development of the plan, plan, including strategies that seek input from over-burdened and under-resourced communities.
- Make the proposed plan available to the public.
- Consult with State agencies and local governments.
- Consider the current scientific understanding of climate change, current data on statewide greenhouse gas emissions, and the sea level rise scenarios, heat scenarios, and precipitation scenarios developed by the Technical Committee on Climate Scenarios.
- Consider provisions to ensure equitable implementation of greenhouse gas reduction measures and adaptation and resiliency measures.
The bill brings back the Delaware Energy Office and is now required to develop and update (not just facilitate) the creation of a 5 year energy plan every 5 years. The bill also creates a new technical committee to create and maintain scenarios for the state on sea level rise, temperature, and precipitation every five years.
The Sierra Club is going to hold a rally on Thursday, June 9th at 11 am to 2 pm at Legislative Hall in Dover. If you can attend, please register for the event at the following link: Tinyurl.com/Rally4Planet
You can also help pass this bill by writing, emailing or calling your Represenative and Senator. Here is a Myth busting Fact Sheet for you to use in contacting them!1SB-305-Fact-Sheets
|Senate Bill 305 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Heffernan, Baumbach, Bentz, Griffith, Lambert, Longhurst, Mitchell, Morrison, Osienski|
|S.McBride, Sokola, Townsend|
|Current Status: Senate Environment & Energy 6/2/22|