Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order No. 80

Stephen De May, President, Duke Energy North Carolina

Gov. Cooper, SAS Solar Farm, Cary, NC


Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order No. 80

On October 29, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 80 titled, "North Carolina's Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy." This is a detailed and comprehensive order that supports the 2015 Paris Agreement goals and honors the state's commitments to the United States Climate Alliance. Specifically, the state plans to:

  • reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels
  • increase the number of registered zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to at least 80,000
  • reduce energy consumption per square foot in state-owned buildings by 40% from fiscal year 2002-2003 levels

The order requires state agencies to evaluate and mitigate climate change impacts on their programs and encourages Council of State members, higher education institutions, local governments and private businesses to do the same. Secretaries or designees and a representative from the Governor's Office will serve on a Climate Change Interagency Council established in this order.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is ordered to develop a Clean Energy Plan aimed at utilizing clean energy resources such as solar, wind, and energy storage. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will develop a ZEV plan in coordination with DEQ to increase the number of ZEVs in the state. The Department of Commerce (DOC) will support the expansion of clean energy businesses as well as technology investment. They will evaluate current and projected workforce demands in North Carolina's clean energy and clean transportation sectors. They will recommend actions to help North Carolinians acquire the needed skills and education.

DEQ will prepare a NC Climate Risk Assessment and Resiliency Plan with informed stakeholder engagement by March 1, 2020. Agencies will integrate climate adaptation and resiliency planning into their programs.

DEQ will create and manage a public web portal that will publish the work of the council to address climate-related impacts on North Carolina.