By Governor John Carney and Secretary Shawn M. Garvin
As we think about how to rebuild our economy, we also need to ensure it’s sustainable. Not just in times of a public health crisis, but sustainable against the impacts of climate change.
There is no better time than Earth Day to come together to work to curb the impacts of climate change in Delaware.
We want Delaware to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family. That’s why the state launched Delaware’s Climate Action Plan.
We are already affected by the impacts of climate change, from dangerous heat and extreme weather, to accelerated sea level rise. The greatest threats from climate change differ depending on where you are in Delaware:
The combined impacts threaten the health and well-being of Delawareans, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, released late last year, identifies practical and common-sense strategies we can take to maximize our state’s resilience to climate change impacts and minimize planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. For example:
This work isn’t Delaware’s first step toward curbing climate change. The Climate Action Plan builds off previous and current state-led initiatives. While the state was slowing the spread of COVID-19, Delaware also took big steps to prepare our state for climate change to protect the well-being of our residents and future-generations:
We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make huge steps on curbing climate change while accelerating our economy through the Federal investments of the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We must continue to build on the work we’ve done in the last year and lift up climate work in every sector of our economy.
Taking actions highlighted in the plan to reduce emissions will allow Delaware to meet or exceed our 2025 reduction target of at least 26% from 2005 levels, setting us on a path to make further emissions reductions in the years ahead.
We can and should embrace the change to a cleaner energy future. Investments in renewable sources will create good new jobs for Delaware families and position our state as a leader on environmental protection.
Implementing resilience strategies now can ensure that state funding mechanisms, regulations, management plans and state facilities are prepared to meet the changing and challenging effects of global climate change.
How we implement climate action is just as critical as what we implement. We need to ensure that all Delawareans have a seat at the table and that their concerns are heard. Every neighborhood, every town in Delaware is vulnerable to climate change. But we know that the impacts are not felt equally by all communities and populations.
For climate action to benefit all Delawareans, the needs of residents – especially those who may be disproportionally impacted by climate change – must be understood and addressed through engagement and partnerships.
By putting this statewide plan into action, Delaware will play a leading role in meeting ambitious and achievable climate goals, while also creating economic opportunities and improving environmental health.
Working together, we have made progress toward our goals. And moving forward on Earth Day and beyond, working together will help us achieve those goals and set us on course for a cleaner, greener and economically sound future for generations to come.
Read more about Delaware’s Climate Action Plan: de.gov/climateplan
Governor John Carney is the 74th Governor of the State of Delaware. Shawn M. Garvin is the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.