Gov. Sisolak Signs Exec. Order Directing Administration to Collaborate on Nevada’s Climate Goals

 Gov. Sisolak Signs Executive Order Directing Administration to Collaborate on Achieving Nevada’s Climate Goals

Carson City, NV – Today, Governor Steve Sisolak signed Executive Order 2019-22 (EO) directing his administration, under the leadership of Director Bradley Crowell of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Director David Bobzien of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE), to collaborate with public, private, and tribal partners to help implement and accelerate cutting-edge solutions to advance the State of Nevada’s ambitious climate goals.

The EO directs State of Nevada agencies to identify and evaluate policies and regulatory strategies to achieve the long-term goals of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as required by Senate Bill 254 and in accordance with Nevada’s commitments as a member of the US Climate Alliance. To help achieve these reduction targets, the administration, led by DCNR and GOE, will coordinate statewide efforts, including the facilitation of agency and stakeholder participation.

In addition to producing reports as required by Senate Bill 254, the Governor’s administration will develop a State Climate Strategy, to be delivered by December 1, 2020, that will include recommendations to reduce carbon pollution from the electricity and transportation sectors, buildings, state operations, and other relevant sectors.

“This executive order will ensure Nevada continues to promote ambitious carbon-reduction standards that will help tackle the devastating impacts of climate change while creating good, high-paying jobs for Nevadans,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “The impacts of climate change, and a job market that demands renewable energy and other clean technologies, are already here. For the sake of Nevada’s future, and our children’s future, we must take action.”

“As the climate continues to warm, the science community has reported a significant increase in the severity and length of droughts and the frequency and intensity of wildfires,” DCNR Director Bradley Crowell said. “With Nevada being the driest state in the nation, coupled with the risks and realities our State faces from climate change, smart climate solutions are critical to the long-term health and sustainability of our state. Under the Executive Order, we look forward to advancing strategies that reduce Nevada’s climate footprint, promote clean energy, and foster a healthy and sustainable future for all.”

”Pursuing these ambitious emissions reductions goals will require collaboration with local governments, tribal governments, businesses, and stakeholders from all across Nevada,“ GOE Director David Bobzien said. “This Executive Order provides the direction and framework for both combating climate change and realizing the economic opportunities of a decarbonized economy.”

The Governor held the press conference at the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, which has been a leader in investing in electric vehicle technology. The RTC was the first public agency in the State of Nevada to operate electric buses and added 17 to its fleet just last year.

The text of Executive Order 2019-22 is below:



WHEREAS, climate change poses a serious threat to Nevada’s natural resources, public health, communities, and economy;

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2019, the State of Nevada joined the U.S. Climate Alliance and committed to supporting the United Nations Climate Goals established at the 2015 Paris Conference.  The primary U.S. Climate Alliance goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025;

WHEREAS, as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, Nevada will implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emission, track and report progress on its efforts to achieve greenhouse gas emission  reduction goals, and accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment;

WHEREAS, the State of Nevada’s electricity generation portfolio consists of approximately two-thirds imported fossil fuels and there is opportunity for greater in-state production of renewable electricity resources;

WHEREAS, on April 22, 2019, Senate Bill 358 was signed into law raising Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030;

WHEREAS, as of 2015, fossil fuel use in the transportation sector is now the largest greenhouse gas and carbon emitting sector in Nevada;

WHEREAS, on June 3, 2019, Senate Bill 254 was signed into law directing the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (the “Department”) to “not later than December 31, 2019, and each year thereafter, issue a report that includes an annual statewide  inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in this State and a projection of annual greenhouse gas emissions in this State for the 20 years immediately following the date of the report;” 

WHEREAS, the report required by Senate Bill 254 shall include an annual inventory and projection of greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity production and transportation sectors, and it shall include an inventory and projection of greenhouse gas emissions every fourth year for the industry, commercial and residential, agriculture, and land use and forestry sectors;

WHEREAS, pursuant to Senate Bill 254, the report shall include a statement of policy options needed to reach the economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction goals called for in Senate Bill 254 of 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030; 

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 254 directs the Governor to “designate an entity or entities to consult with the Department and identify for the Department the policies required pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection 2;”

WHEREAS, the statement of policy options required under SB 254 will be developed through consultation and coordination among applicable state agencies as established by this Executive Order and under the leadership and direction of the Department and the Governor’s Office of Energy with a focus on achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions in the areas of electricity production, transportation, industry, commercial and residential, agriculture, and land use and forestry;

WHEREAS, climate change poses significant threats to vulnerable communities who may lack the resources, geographic mobility, and technological expertise to adapt to changes, including pronounced threats to cultural resources, economic vitality, and the human health of all of Nevada’s communities and Indian tribes;

WHEREAS, Las Vegas, Nevada is the nation’s fastest warming city, with a temperature increase of 5.76 degrees Fahrenheit between 1970 and 2018, a trend posing significant impacts to public health and economic prosperity now and in the future;

WHEREAS, protection of Nevada’s iconic hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities is critical to our heritage, quality of life, economy, and ability to attract and retain businesses in diverse industries;

WHEREAS, Nevada’s abundant solar, geothermal and wind renewable energy resources, along with a skilled and capable workforce, provide jobs and economic opportunities to Nevada families as a pillar of Nevada’s leadership in establishing a competitive clean energy and decarbonized economy;

WHEREAS, changing national and global market conditions demand that Nevada’s businesses seek pragmatic solutions to climate change that maintain competitiveness and create a stable investment environment;

WHEREAS, Nevada’s growing clean energy sector has driven economic diversification throughout the state leading to a nationwide leading annual growth of over 34 percent in clean energy jobs from 2017 to 2018, for a total of 32,311 clean energy jobs in Nevada as of 2018; and

WHEREAS, States have continued to lead on climate change, have taken state-level action that is benefitting state economies and strengthening communities, and are demonstrating leadership to the nation and the world that ambitious climate action is achievable and imperative.

NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and laws of the State of Nevada and the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1:  State agencies within the Executive branch of Nevada government shall collaborate, as applicable, to advance Nevada’s climate goals.

SECTION 2:  The Director of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy shall coordinate the work of the state agencies through convening meetings, facilitating stakeholder participation, and providing strategic direction for meeting the goals and requirements as directed under the Executive Order.

SECTION 3:  For purposes of fulfilling the requirements of Senate Bill 254, the Administrators or Directors (or designees) of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Motor Vehicles shall participate as required under Section 2, subsection 3 of Senate Bill 254. 

SECTION 4:  The administration’s effort shall also include participation from representatives of the Department of Administration and the other state agencies as appropriate in fulfilling the requirements of Senate Bill 254.  The administration will continue to work with its partners at the Nevada System of Higher Education to achieve the broader goals and objectives established under this Executive Order. 

SECTION 5:  The administration’s effort shall proceed in phases:

Phase 1 shall be completed by December 31, 2019 for purposes of finalizing the first annual report as required under Senate Bill 254.  The report, as described in Senate Bill 254, shall include:

An annual report of Nevada’s greenhouse gas emission completed by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection; and

A statement of policy options completed by the appropriate state agencies as defined under Senate Bill 254 and included in this Executive Order that could achieve reductions in projected greenhouse gas emissions by the sectors set forth under Section 2, subsection 2(b) of Senate Bill 254.

Phase 2 shall build upon the work of Phase 1 and will culminate in a State Climate Strategy to be delivered to the Governor by December 1, 2020.  The document shall include specific policy and budget recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change as needed to meet the goals set forth under this Executive Order. 

SECTION 6:  The administration shall identify and evaluate policies and regulatory strategies, including but not limited to those identified pursuant to Senate Bill 254, to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with Nevada’s commitment as a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, across all categories of emission sources, and to further Nevada’s resilience to climate change.  Such policies and regulatory strategies shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

Comprehensive economy-wide or sector-specific programs to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution across Nevada, including market-based mechanisms that may be appropriate for Nevada’s greenhouse gas emissions profile;

Support for transportation electrification and demand management, including infrastructure, fleet procurement, alternative funding mechanisms  and other programs;

Building codes, and other programs to increase residential and commercial building energy efficiency; and

Enhancement of climate resiliency and mitigation of the impacts of climate change in urban and rural areas, including adoption of approaches to increase conservation, restoration and management of Nevada’s forests, rangelands, and water resources. 

SECTION 7:  The administration shall prepare an agency risk assessment survey for all state agencies to identify and evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on their programs and operations, and to establish options for the integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation practices for their programs and operations. 

SECTION 8:  Each state agency shall prepare priority lists for building energy efficiency projects to be shared with the administration. The administration shall explore financing options and needed strategies for completion of these projects to achieve energy savings across state owned or leased buildings.

SECTION 9:  The administration shall collaborate with local governments and tribal nations.

SECTION 10:  The administration shall coordinate as much as possible with federal bureaus and agencies that manage land and natural resources in Nevada to help advance the priorities identified in the Executive Order.

SECTION 11:  The administration shall consider the impact of proposed policies and programs on low-income and disadvantaged communities in Nevada.

SECTION 12:  This order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until December 31, 2029 unless it is terminated earlier or extended beyond that date by subsequent Executive Order.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Nevada to be affixed at the State Capitol in Carson City, this 22nd Day of November, in the year two thousand nineteen.