Climate change is a major concern for Rhode Island because of its potential impacts on our coastal areas, drinking water, energy supply, economy and health.
On April 14, 2021, Governor Dan McKee signed into law the 2021 Act on Climate (S-0078A, H-5445A), legislation which updates Rhode Island's climate-emission reduction goals. The bill will position the state to boldly address climate change and prepare for a global economy that will be shifting to adapt to clean technology.
Under the 2021 Act on Climate, the state will develop a plan to incrementally reduce climate emissions to net-zero by 2050. The plan will be updated every 5 years and will address areas such as environmental injustices, public health inequities and a fair employment transition as fossil-fuel jobs are replaced by green energy jobs. Read more here.
OER is a member of the RI Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4), a group comprised of cabinet-level officials from state agencies with responsibility and oversight relating to assessing, integrating, and coordinating climate change efforts. The Resilient Rhode Island Act established the EC4 in 2014. The law establishes two advisory bodies, the EC4 Advisory Board and the EC4 Science and Technical Advisory Board, to assist the Council; and incorporates consideration of climate change impacts into the powers and duties of all state agencies. More information may be found here.
The RI Climate Change website serves as the State of Rhode Island’s primary portal for information and resources on climate change and resiliency. It houses resources for a variety of audiences including RI citizens, State agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and the business community. It addresses how Rhode Islanders are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as how to adapt to the projected effects of climate change such as coastal hazards like sea level rise and storm surge, as well as high heat, drought, and inland flooding. Visit http://climatechange.ri.gov.