Governor Cooper’s New Executive Order Will Raise Climate Ambition and Build a More Equitable Clean Energy Economy

EDF statement from David Kelly, North Carolina State Director

January 7, 2022
Chandler Green, (803) 981-2211,

(Raleigh, N.C. – Jan. 7 2022) Today, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 246, which establishes new pollution reduction goals and directs the state to identify pathways to achieve net-zero emissions, prioritize environmental justice and develop clean transportation options.

“The executive order announced by Governor Cooper today is an important signal that North Carolina is sharpening its focus on addressing climate change and creating a more equitable clean energy future. The measures in EO246 raise the ambition of the state’s climate goals to align with the latest science, take aim at curbing harmful pollution across the state’s transportation sector (the second-largest emitting sector behind power plants), and begins important work to directly address the needs of North Carolina communities historically overburdened by pollution. 

“For too long, conversations regarding equity and climate have been siloed, when in reality these issues deeply intersect as historically marginalized communities bear the disproportionate burden of pollution and are on the frontlines of increasingly damaging climate impacts. EO246 sets the stage to consider these issues in tandem, which is essential to making meaningful progress towards a more equitable, climate-safe future.

“Standing alongside our equity partners, we are eager to roll up our sleeves to help ensure that this executive order tangibly advances North Carolina toward a more equitable, cleaner future. We look forward to working with communities and the Cooper administration in the development of the plans outlined in EO246 while using existing tools to rapidly drive down carbon pollution across the transportation and electric-power sectors.”

  • David Kelly, North Carolina State Director, Environmental Defense Fund

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