Written by: Kimberly White 

Montana Governor Steve Bullock started off July with two new climate change commitments. On July 1st, Governor Bullock announced that Montana would be joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. Additionally, he issued an executive order establishing the Montana Climate Solutions Council

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors who are committed to keeping with the U.S. emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. The Alliance was formed in 2017 in response to the announcement of the United States’ intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. 

By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, Governor Bullock commits to:

  • Advancing the goals of the Paris Agreement through policy and aiming to reduce Montana’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
  • Track and report progress to the global community.
  • Reduce carbon pollution by accelerating new and existing policies and promoting clean energy deployment at both a state and federal level.

Bullock joins 24 other governors including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, and  Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló. With the addition of Montana, the Alliance now represents 55% of the U.S. population, 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and an $11.7 trillion economy.

“Climate change is already impacting our way of life and our economy. How we choose to respond to the changes around us offers a pivotal opportunity to both safeguard our traditional strengths and diversify and grow new opportunities for our future,” said Governor Bullock. “That’s why I’m convening a diverse group of Montanans to develop thoughtful solutions to address climate change for our state.”

The Montana Climate Solutions Council will provide recommendations and strategies for the state to prepare for climate change impacts. 

Governor Bullock has tasked the Council with developing a Montana Climate Solutions Plan by June 2020. The Plan will include recommendations toward achieving long-term net greenhouse gas neutrality while aiming for an interim goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for average annual electric loads by 2035. 

Additionally, the Council will be tasked with coordinating with the Montana University System to identify strategies to build on the Montana Climate Assessment and coordinate with state agencies to make the climate crisis an immediate and actionable priority for the state. 

“Like all difficult issues we tackle here in Montana, I know we can find a path forward by getting together, rolling up our sleeves, and focusing on the values we share in common. The state needs Montana-focused solutions, now more than ever,” stated Governor Bullock.

Header Image Credit: Brian Gratwicke/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)