Here are Louisiana's seven strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Jul 30, 2021

The Louisiana Climate Initiatives Task Force - charged with finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to hotter temperatures, higher seas and more intense storms - adopted seven high-level strategies Thursday for reaching a goal of “net zero” carbon emissions in the state by 2050.

The strategies target industry and other key areas of the state’s economy where carbon dioxide and other “carbon-equivalent” emissions are created. They will be used by the task force, its staff and its advisory committees to group together dozens of specific emission reduction recommendations into a plan for public comment by February.

"We are really shifting to policymaking," said Harry Vorhoff, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, who oversees the task force's operations. "We are now getting to the heart of what we are tasked to do."

The final plan is to be aimed at meeting Gov. John Bel Edwards' emission reduction goals of cutting 2005's total carbon emissions:

  • 26% to 28% by 2025
  • 40% to 50% by 2030
  • To “net zero” emissions by 2050. A net zero level means any carbon emissions created by the state’s economy are offset by reductions or are captured and permanently stored.

In 2018, Louisiana emitted about 217 million tons of greenhouse gases, almost 2 million tons more than in 2005. The emissions represent about 4 percent of the U.S. total, said professor David Dismukes, executive director of LSU's Center for Energy Studies.

But Scott Eustis of the Healthy Gulf environmental group warned that industry expansions since 2019 and even more proposed expansions could add 100 million tons in the next 10 years to Dismukes' 2018 estimates. Read the full story here.