Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities

Louisiana Climate Action Plan


The Challenge

Governor John Bel Edwards established the Climate Initiatives Task Force (Task Force) by executive order in August 2020, launching Louisiana’s first-ever attempt to investigate and reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and setting the bold and explicit goals of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025; by 40-50% of 2005 levels by 2030; and to net zero by 2050.

The Approach

The Water Institute closely advised the Governor’s Office throughout a 14-month inclusive, transparent, and science-based planning process culminating in Louisiana’s first Climate Action Plan. The Water Institute applied its expertise in the structured decision making (SDM) methodology to set the guiding framework of this process to engage the established Task Force and ten working groups comprising over 140 experts across state government, academia, civic organizations, and the private sector and bring the diverse membership of the Task Force to consensus on fundamental objectives, goals, and ultimate outcomes. The ambitious plan was unanimously approved by Task Force members in February 2022.

The SDM process provided a systematic way to question, evaluate, understand, and communicate the impact of potential policies and strategies on both greenhouse gas emissions as well as other key objectives identified by the Task Force relating to quality of life, equity, economy, environment, and feasibility. The final plan and an overview of the process can be found here.

Additionally, to augment the Climate Initiative, The Water Institute has been engaged by the State’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to develop a methodology to quantify the carbon captured and stored by coastal wetlands and associated restoration projects across our coast.