New Mexico Climate Strategy - Initial Recommendations and Status Update
The Climate Strategy from New Mexico’s Interagency Climate Change Task Force presents a suite of policies that integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation throughout New Mexico’s state government programs and operations. It serves as a strategic guide for the state to achieve the mitigation and adaptation goals as ordered in Governor Lujan Grisham’s Executive Order 2019-003 mandating lower carbon emissions and adaptations to limit climate change impacts. The report describes New Mexico’s adaptation progress across state agencies and the focal sectors of public health, emergency preparedness, and water supply.
The report is organized first by greenhouse gas reduction strategies in five sectors aimed at a 45% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The second portion of the report is focused on the adaptation strategies that New Mexico state agencies have implemented and are planning to improve the state’s climate resilience.
- Multiple state agencies have conducted climate change impact assessments related to public health and have developed risk messaging to alert the public about extreme weather events and provide best practices for preparation, safety, and health in relation to such events.
- NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau will develop regulations in 2020 to prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities among people who work outdoors.
- The New Mexico Environment Department is developing regulations to address outdoor worker heat-related illness and fatalities - this will be a model for other states and the nation as no federal level regulations addressing such exist at the time of writing.
- The Energy$mart New Mexico program which offers weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades to low-income residents can improve public health outcomes related temperature and indoor air quality.
Emergency Preparedness and Management:
- To build infrastructure resiliency, the New Mexico Department of Transportation will complete a vulnerability assessment to identify risk to critical state infrastructure and create infrastructure guidelines to improve the environmental impact of roads and streets. Additionally, various state agencies are incorporating adaptation concepts into project applications for state or federal funding.
- As related to resilient natural resources, the next state Forest Plan will incorporate a climate change vulnerability model.
- The state’s Forestry Division is increasing reforestation practices.
- The State Wildlife Action Plan identifies conservation action to address threats including climate change.
Water Availability: To prepare for periods of drought, water shortage, and wildfire effects on water quality and quantity, the New Mexico Environment Department is working on multiple initiatives including to:
- establish baseline information on groundwater and surface water supplies and how climate change is affecting such supplies;
- develop Source Water Plans that include climate change impacts;
- identify more Outstanding National Resource Waters which are afforded strict protection from degradation;
- increase the number of wildfire control/remediation and watershed health action plans; and
- encourage more proactive protection efforts such as prescribed burning to reduce the risk of intense wildfires.
Publication Date: September 2019
- New Mexico Interagency Climate Change Task Force
- Adaptation plan
- Plans (other)