On January 29, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order that directs the state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, embracing the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement and aligning the state with others that have committed to a climate-conscious future. The Governor also ordered the creation of a New Mexico Climate Change Task Force to be co-chaired by Environment Department Cabinet Secretary Jim Kenney and his counterpart at the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department.
“Today marks an important shift in direction on climate policy in New Mexico,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. Kenney, the new Co-Chair of the ECOS Shale Gas Caucus (SGC), added at the press conference that New Mexico’s leadership in the SGC will enable the state to play a role in methane reduction beyond its own borders.
Among other activities, the New Mexico task force is charged with developing a statewide climate strategy and incorporating climate mitigation and adaptation practices in all state government programs and operations. It will also devise an enforceable regulatory framework to secure reductions in oil and gas methane emissions and to prevent waste from new and existing sources. Other likely measures include: adoption of approaches to reduce greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions from light-duty vehicles sold in New Mexico; implementation of a comprehensive market-based program that sets emission limits across New Mexico; establishment of new building codes; and identification of transmission corridors needed to transport the state’s renewable electricity.
The order directs the task force to establish a list of initial recommendations and status updates to the Governor by September 15. More information is available here.