Less than a year after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order directing New Mexico to join the U.S. Climate Alliance and abide by the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, her new climate change task force released its initial report laying out a strategy for pursuing those objectives.
The report, a joint project between the state Environment and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources departments, noted the governor’s desire to reduce emissions in the state by at least 45 percent by 2030, but added “we need to pick up the pace of our work” and stressed “without new rules to limit emissions from the oil and gas industry, those emissions are projected to escalate.”
The report also outlined the Environment Department’s plan in 2021 to complete a first emissions “inventory,” which will include data from both large and small sources of air pollution. It said the data collected will help regulators evaluate air quality, improve modeling analyses and emissions trends.
Much of the 26-page report was devoted to highlighting things the state had done this year, including the passage of the Energy Transition Act, a framework for reducing emissions in New Mexico. It also noted the work of the Methane Advisory Panel, which has been meeting in private throughout the fall to talk about a variety of technical issues on methane emissions.
Environmental advocacy groups lauded the administration’s work on methane and other emissions from the oil and gas industry, though the Western Environmental Law Center cautioned in a news release that “the strategy does not include critical ‘second-step’ actions, including a clear plan to facilitate a managed phase out of oil and gas over the coming years.”
The report said the task force will report again in September and plans to issue updates annually.
New Mexico Climate Strategy Report