Standing before the United Nations, (UN) General Assembly, Governor Janet Mills today challenged leaders of the world to take action against climate change, saying the State of Maine will do its part and announcing that she has signed an Executive Order commiting the state to carbon neutrality by 2045.
“We all have what it takes to combat climate change, to protect the irreplaceable earth we share and care for,” General Mills said in her remarks. “What is more previous than water, air, soil, the health and happiness of our children and our children’s children and yours. For all of them, today, by Executive Order, I am pledging that Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045.”
“And if our small state could do it, you can. We’ve got to unite to pressure our precious common ground, for our common planet, in uncommon ways for this imperative common purpose,” Governor Mills continued. “Maine won’t wait. Will you”?
Governor Mills’ Executive Order requires the Maine Climate Council- which she created with the overwhelming bipartisan approval of the Legislature – to provide recommendations no later than December 1, 2020 on ways to achieve a carbon neutral economy in Maine.by 2045. The Maine Climate Council is scheduled to meet for the first time on Thursday, September 26th.
The Executive Order also states that the Department of Environmental Protection shall develop a framework for accounting and tracking progress on greenhouse gas reduction and report on such progress every other year. It also directs that all action taken to achieve carbon neutrality must grow Maine’s economy, protect our natural resources and achieve positive impacts for the people of Maine.
Governor Mills remarks before the United Nations are the first time a sitting Governor of Maine has addressed the body, the world’s foremost international peacekeeping and dispute resolution body. She was personally invited to speak by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and her remarks come as part of her participation.
At the United Nations Climate Action Summit of 2019 which brings together governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities, and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions to climate change.
“It was a tremendous honor to speak before the United Nations, but what I am even more proud of is that the State of Maine is leading in the fight against climate change,” said Governor Mills. “The climate crisis is a threat to our environment, to our economy, to our very identity as Maine people – and our efforts today and tomorrow will help create a better future for our children and our grandchildren and help build a stronger, more diverse economy for our state.”