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Taking Climate Action in Delaware

Delaware’s Climate Action Plan will outline strategies to address the causes of climate change — ways the state can minimize greenhouse gas emissions in partnership with federal agencies, local governments and businesses.

A Plan to Protect and Strengthen Delaware

Throughout 2020, the state engaged residents and businesses to develop the Climate Action Plan. It will include strategies to address the consequences of climate change — ways the state can maximize our resilience to the impacts we are seeing today, and which are expected to get worse. Learn more.

Implementing the Plan will protect and strengthen:


Our agricultural and tourism economies

The natural places we enjoy for recreation

Our infrastructure

The health of our residents and visitors

Access to clean energy and transportation for all Delawareans

The Plan will consider solutions in a variety of areas, including:


Renewable energy (wind and solar)

Energy efficiency and industrial refrigerants

Clean transportation (public transit, electric vehicles)

Agriculture and conservation

Support for local communities (technical and planning assistance, grant funding)

Partnerships with other states

Delaware Climate Change Plan Overview


Causes and Effects

What is Behind the Climate Change We See Today?

Greenhouse gases, (GHGs) are vapors in the atmosphere that trap heat around the earth (such as carbon dioxide). When we use fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil to power our homes, businesses and vehicles, we release even more GHGs into the atmosphere. Humans have released a significant amount of GHGs since the mid-1800s, and this has led to rising temperatures and other changes in our earth and climate.

How Does Climate Change Affect Delaware?

Climate change looks different depending on where you are in the world. In Delaware, climate change primarily takes the form of increasing temperatures, more frequent intense storms (including heavy precipitation), and sea level rise. Check out the Causes and Consequences Overview for a look at some of the ways climate change affects our state. More information is available in the Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment at de.gov/climatechange.

Climate Change Causes and Consequences Infographic


What Do Delawareans Think of Climate Change?

Based on a 2019 survey supervised by the University of Delaware, most Delawareans support taking action to address both the causes and consequences of climate change. Check out the 2019 Survey Infographic for a summary of the survey results.

You can also visit de.gov/climatesurvey for a full report of results.

Delaware Climate Survey Infographic


What Can Delaware Do About Climate Change?

Delaware can prepare for climate change by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing resilience to climate change impacts.

Minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions drive the climate change we see today. Check out the fact sheet and infographic for an overview of potential actions Delaware could take to minimize emissions.

Technical Report and Executive Summary

DNREC partnered with consultants to analyze what Delaware’s greenhouse gas emissions could look like over the next three decades. The technical analysis considered two scenarios:

  1. Delaware takes no new actions to minimize emissions (i.e., business-as-usual), and
  2. Delaware implements new and expanded strategies to minimize emissions.

To see the results of this technical analysis, check out the Executive Summary and Full Report.

Greenhouse Gas Study Full Report

Maximizing Resilience to Climate Change Impacts

Three of the most prominent climate change impacts in Delaware are sea level rise, increased temperatures, and heavy precipitation and flooding. Check out the fact sheets below for an overview of these impacts and the potential actions Delaware could take to address them.

Climate Plan Precipitation Mitigation Graphic

Climate Plan Sea Level Rise Mitigation Graphic

Climate Plan Temperature Mitigation Graphic


Public Participation

Climate Change Plan Workshop
Public participation has been essential to developing Delaware’s Climate Action Plan.

In addition to public workshops, online surveys and comment forms soliciting public input, DNREC sought insight from Delaware-based technical stakeholders in the buildings, electric power, industrial transportation and waste sectors — along with staff from 10 state agencies — on potential actions to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and maximize resilience to climate change impacts.

Input received from all these engagement activities helped inform Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, which is set for release in winter 2021.

Public Participation Highlights

More than 250 people participated in an initial round of public workshops, held in each county in March 2020.

A follow-up series of virtual workshops held in September and October of 2020 attracted nearly 390 attendees across five sessions.

Online surveys hosted on this website in the spring and fall of 2020 — aimed at gathering input from those unable to attend a public workshop — garnered more than 520 responses.

Residents, businesses and organizations submitted more than 50 additional written comments and questions on the plan.

 





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