Nevada Executive Order 2019-22 Directing Executive Branch to Advance Nevada's Climate Goals

In November 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Executive Order (EO) 2019-22 directing the executive branch to advance Nevada's climate goals. To accomplish these goals, the governor is requiring state agencies to identify specific policies to reduce in-state greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to increase Nevada's resilience to climate impacts. The governor, through the EO, recognized the warming climate in Nevada and the need to take action to mitigate and adapt to other past, present, and future impacts of climate change. 

Nevada has already begun to experience the effects of climate change, which will intensify and place the state's citizens and resources at risk. Las Vegas is the fastest warming city in the country. This warming poses significant impacts to current and future public health and economic prosperity. Further, the governor recognized that certain communities in the state which lack the funding, geographic mobility, and technological knowledge necessary to adapt to climate change will be disproportionately impacted by its effects. In response to these threats, the EO directs the following actions. 

First, state agencies are directed to collaborate to advance Nevada's climate goals. The Directors of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Governor's Office for Energy are tasked with coordinating agencies in their work to advance the state's climate goals. 

Second, the EO directs specific state agencies (i.e., the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Department of Administration) to create and deliver a State Climate Strategy to the governor by December 1, 2020, which must include discrete policy and fiscal recommendations to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change in Nevada. 

Third, the EO directs those same state agencies to identify and assess policies and regulatory strategies to reduce GHG emissions and increase climate change resilience. The EO specifically requires the agencies to evaluate strategies to enhance climate resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change in rural and urban parts of the state. Further, the EO directs the assessment of strategies to increase the conservation of the state's public lands and water resources.

Finally, the EO requires those state agencies to conduct an agency risk assessment survey that identifies and evaluates the possible impacts of climate change on state agency activities. The risk assessment survey must also provide options for agencies to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation practices into their programs and policies.  

This EO was passed in conjunction with Nevada Senate Bills 358 and 254 to better coordinate executive actions to ensure the state can meet its climate mitigation energy goals. Nevada Senate Bills 358 and 254, respectively increase Nevada's renewable portfolio standards and require an accounting of Nevada's GHG emissions, including options for reductions. 

Additionally, as a part of its work to develop its State Climate Strategy, the state is providing opportunities for the public to offer feedback via Nevada's climate change adaptation website  and comment portal. Members of the public can identify goals and objectives the state should pursue to address climate change.  

Publication Date: November 22, 2019

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