Alaska takes first step toward a state-level climate policy

The Mendenhall Glacier, which is receding. (Juneau Empire file)

The Mendenhall Glacier, which is receding. (Juneau Empire file)

You don’t have to look far to see the effects of climate change in Alaska. Permafrost melts, ocean waters acidify and eroding shorelines threaten coastal Native villages. The state is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the U.S.

The Last Frontier lies on the front lines in the battle against the effects of climate change.

But the state still lacks a comprehensive plan to address climate issues. A draft document released last week could be the first step toward a state-level climate policy. The Climate Action Leadership Team, formed by Gov. Bill Walker, released the seven-page document May 9.

It’s bold. The plan calls for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 15 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2025. It recommends a switch to 50 percent renewable electricity sources by that same year.

For the rest of this story, visit the Juneau Empire. 

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