If creating commissions with long fancy titles were solving the greenhouse gas problems, North Carolina might lead the nation.
At last count, at least three boards are charged with identifying ways the state can reduce carbon emissions and thrive in the emerging green economy.
When one of those panels—the Legislative Global Climate Change Commission – met this week it learned that as North Carolina studies, other states are leading with innovative solutions.
Maryland has set a goal of reducing green house emissions 25 percent in a decade, and has a package of policies to get them there. In Arizona, lawmakers set the state on course to cut heat-trapping gases 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2040. New energy standards in Minnesota has that state moving toward reducing emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.
In each of those cases, it took similarly charged panels less than a year to recommend a goal and policies to achieve it. The North Carolina commission has been meeting for three years and counting.
There’s no reason North Carolina can’t reduce green house gases 80 percent by 2050. It would require some sacrifice, but the costs of delay – in lost jobs, infrastructure destruction and weather-related human casualties — are much greater.
So here’s an idea: Instead of another commission debate on whether the climate is changing, let’s start dealing with it.