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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Climate Change Action Plans

» Learn how to develop a climate change action plan for your state.
» These examples represent recently developed action plans and are not intended to be comprehensive.

Regional Climate Change
Action Plans

A climate change action plan lays out a strategy, including specific policy recommendations, that a state will use to address climate change and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The following states have completed a climate change action plan.

AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, All States


In August 2009, the Alaska Climate Change Strategy's Mitigation Advisory Group published 32 policy recommendations for reducing GHG emissions in the state.


The Governor's Climate Change Advisory Group completed an action plan in August 2006, which contains 49 policy recommendations for addressing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


The Governor's Commission on Global Warming issued its final report on October 30, 2008, recommending adoption of a comprehensive set of 54 policies to address climate, energy, and commerce issues in Arkansas. Policy recommendations include establishing a renewable portfolio standard, implementing a carbon tax, and enhancing energy efficiency.


In March 2006, the California Environmental Protection Agency released its “Climate Action Team Report to Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature.”In the report, the action team evaluates a number of strategies that could be implemented in California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


On November 5, 2007, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter released a climate action plan. The plan establishes a state GHG emissions reduction target of 20 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020, and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.


On February 15, 2005, the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change submitted the “Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan” to the General Assembly, fulfilling the requirements of PA 04-252. The action plan's goal is to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010 and an additional 10 percent below that by the year 2020.


On October 17, 2008, Florida Governor Charlie Crist's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change released a report recommending that the state join a regional cap-and-trade system, acquire 20 percent of the its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and reduce power use by encouraging energy efficiency. The report estimates that the reforms would reduce greenhouse gases 34 percent by 2025 and save $28 billion from 2009 to 2025.


The Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group, created by Executive Order 2006-11 on October 5, 2006, made its final recommendations to the governor on September 6, 2007.


The Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council submitted its final report to the govenor and to the state legislature on December 23, 2008. The report presents two scenarios designed to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and 90 percent from a 2005 baseline by the year 2050.


The Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council developed an action plan to address the causes of climate change, prepare for climate change impacts, and establish benchmarks and timetables for implementing the Council’s recommendations. The final report was released in November 2011.

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Maine adopted and released an updated state climate action plan on December 1, 2004 to meet goals set in 2003 legislation of reducing GHGs to 1990 levels by 2010, 10 percent below those levels in 2020, and by a sufficient amount to avert the threat of global warming over the longer term.


The Maryland Commission on Climate Change released its climate action plan on August 27, 2008, recommending that the state begin implementing 42 greenhouse gas reduction strategies.


Massachusetts completed its “Climate Protection Plan” in May 2004. The plan, which is divided into ten focus areas with associated action steps, focuses on near term greenhouse gas reductions. Massachusetts is developing an updated plan to meet a greenhouse gas cap set in 2008 legislation requiring the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.


The Michigan Climate Action Council, established by executive order in 2007, released its final action plan in March 2009. The plan proposes statewide GHG reduction goals of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.


In April 2008, the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group issued its final report with recommendations to the governor for reducing Minnesota's GHG emissions.


On November 9, 2007, Governor Brian Schweitzer received the Climate Change Advisory Committee's final action plan report. The plan includes 54 recommended policy options for reducing Montana's emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

North Carolina

The Climate Action Plan Advisory Group released a final report and recommendations in October 2008 detailing 56 mitigation options for addressing climate change.

New Hampshire

The Climate Change Action Plan Working Group, under the direction of the Climate Change Policy Task Force, completed its final climate acton plan in March 2009.

New Jersey

On December 15, 2008, New Jersey released a draft “Global Warming Response Act Recommendation Report” outlining policies as well as legislative and regulatory actions that are needed to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

New Mexico

The Climate Change Advisory Group completed its final report on December 1, 2006. The report includes a GHG inventory and 69 policy recommendations for reducing New Mexico's emissions to 2000 levels by 2012, 10 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 75 percent below 2000 levels by 2050.


The Nevada Climate Change Advisory Committee released its final report on May 31, 2008. A 2007 Executive Order established the committee and charged it with developing recommendations for reducing Nevada's GHG emissions and advancing renewable energy resources.

New York

In August 2009, Governor Paterson signed Executive Order24 setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York Stateby 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050. The ExecutiveOrder also created the New York Climate Action Council (CAC) with a directiveto prepare a draft Climate Action Plan by September 30, 2010. A prior New YorkGreenhouse Gas Task Force released its report in April 2003.


As part of a 2011 report called “Assuring Ohio’s Competitiveness in a Carbon-Constrained World,” Ohio analyzed and prioritized policies that could be adopted and implemented at the state level to reduce climate change risk.


Oregon’s Global Warming Commission in 2010 adopted an “Interim Roadmap to 2020,” with recommendations addressing utilities, transportation and land use, industry, forestry, agriculture, and materials and waste management. The Interim Roadmap builds on two previous efforts, a 2008 report by the Governor’s Climate Change Integration Group (CCIG), “A Framework for Addressing Rapid Climate Change,” and a 2004 “Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions,” developed by the Governor’s Advisory Group on Global Warming.


On December 18, 2009, Pennsylvania issued the state's final Climate Change Action Plan. The plan calls for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. In combination with other state and federal environmental initiatives, the 52 recommendations outlined in the action plan could reduce emissions by more than 40 percent.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island completed a Greenhouse Gas Action Plan in July 2002 that includes a set of 49 options for reducing the state's GHG emissions.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Climate, Energy & Commerce Advisory Committee released its final report in July 2008. The plan proposes a voluntary, economy-wide goal for South Carolina to reduce gross GHG emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.


On October 9, 2007, Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.'s Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change released its final report, which includes a number of suggestions for an action plan to shrink the state's carbon footprint.


The Virginia Governor's Commission on Climate Change released its final report on December 15, 2008, stating that greenhouse gas emissions in the state could increase by 31 percent by 2025 under business as usual. The report presents recommendations to meet the state GHG reduction target of 30 percent below the business-as-usual projection by 2025.


The Governor's Commission on Climate Change approved a report on October 26, 2007, that sets forth a strategy to address climate change for the state. The report presents policy recommendatsion to meet Vermont's goal of reducing statewide GHG emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2012; 50 percent by 2028; and, if practical, 75 percent by 2050.


The 2008 report “Growing Washington's Economy in a Carbon-Constrained World” presents a comprehensive plan to address climate change and meet the GHG emissions reductions established by state law: return to 1990 levels by 2020; reduce 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035; and reduce 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.


On July 24, 2008, the Task Force on Global Warming finalized its climate action report in which it recommends reducing GHG emissions to 2005 levels by 2014, to 22 percent below 2005 levels by 2022, and to 75 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. The report also provides more than 50 policy recommendations that could lead to achieving those goals, including a proposed federal or regional greenhouse gas cap and trade program.

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