The climate action plan specifically calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28%, compared to 2005 emission levels. It also orders an increased hardening of state facilities and functions to respond to the impacts of climate change.
The plan does not call for any of that action to be accomplished by legislation.
“The legislative process is complicated and tricky and lengthy,” Love said. “DNREC does not currently have any legislative proposals that I am aware of.”
Because transportation is the biggest in-state source of greenhouse gas emissions, the plan aims to increase electric vehicle sales in the state to 17,000 per year by 2030. The state will also expand electric vehicle charging stations, along with reducing emissions from vehicles owned by the state.
The plan doesn’t force environmental mandates for Delaware’s 57 local cities and towns, but offers local government leaders help to accomplish the plan’s goals in their area.
“We know you need support so that you can make decisions that are best for your community and help to kind of support and build resilience to climate change,” said Maggie Pletta, a planner at DNREC. “There’s not anything in the plan that says, ‘Hey, at the state level, we’re mandating and changing this.’”
Part of that support will come in the form of improved communications.
“Outreach and education can empower individuals to engage in free decisions and proactively prepare for climate change, and the more individuals get involved in climate action, the healthier, diverse communities and economy become,” she said.