(The Center Square) – State government is to lead by example in Rhode Island regarding climate mitigation.
Executive Order 23-06 was inked by Democratic Gov. Dan McKee on Tuesday, bringing together the state’s efforts to provide cleaner, more affordable, reliable, and equitable clean energy in the future.
“Today, I have put in place a new Lead by Example executive order that will continue to support the efforts of public sector entities to reduce their operation and maintenance costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and support the local clean energy economy,” McKee said in a statement.
Lead by Example, which will be administered through the Energy Resources, provides the guidelines for emissions reductions across state government. Previously, McKee signed Executive Order 15-17, which called for deploying a wide array of clean energy products. The 2021 Act on Climate set mandatory and enforceable greenhouse gas emission reduction goals by 2050.
Under the order, state agencies are mandated to prioritize reducing or eliminating emissions from on-site fossil fuels; optimize building performance; participate in all energy efficiency and clean energy incentive programs; monitor building energy performance; and install high-efficiency equipment.
According to the new order, Rhode Island will work to reduce the effects of climate change as the state government and public universities are utilizing more than 95,000 tons of carbon dioxide from more than 180 million kilowatt hours of electricity. The state also uses 16 million therms of natural gas, and 2.4 million gallons of deliverable fuels, and spends more than $54 million on energy bills.
Under the order, state agencies are mandated to cooperate with the Lead by Example program, according to a release, and “make every effort to support sustainable initiatives” within their departments while collaborating with other agencies to support emissions reductions.
Also, according to the order, the agencies are to act aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to align with the Act on Climate mandates.
The order reads that the Office of Energy Resources, with cooperation from the state’s fleet of vehicles, will speed up the state’s transition to zero-emission vehicles between 2030 and 2050 as the state will work to secure small, medium, medium, and larger zero-emission vehicles.
The order also mandated that Lead by Example receive yearly reports on progress in meeting climate mitigation goals.
According to the order, state agencies are to reduce emissions from the 2014 baseline at buildings and in vehicles to 40% by 2030, 70% by 2040, and 95% by 2050. In addition, they will be mandated to purchase vehicles for the light-duty state fleet consisting of 25% zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
Agencies are also mandated under the order to reduce site energy use at state buildings by 20% by 2030, 30% by 2040, and 40% by 2050, while increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations at state-owned properties to 200 by 2030.