New Hampshire Task Force Releases Climate Action Plan

March 30, 2009

New Hampshire's Climate Change Policy Task Force released a climate action plan on March 25 that aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan augments the state's efforts to reduce pollution, increase the use of renewable energy, and provide long-term economic benefits.

To reach the GHG goal, the task force recommends 67 actions that fall under 10 strategies:

  1. Maximize energy efficiency in buildings.
  2. Increase renewable and low carbon dioxide-emitting sources of energy in a long-term, sustainable manner.
  3. Support regional and national actions to reduce GHG emissions.
  4. Reduce vehicle emissions through state actions.
  5. Encourage appropriate land use patterns that reduce vehicle-miles traveled.
  6. Reduce vehicle-miles traveled through an integrated, multi-modal transportation system.
  7. Protect land, water, and wildlife to maintain the current amount of fixed or sequestered carbon.
  8. Lead by example in government operations.
  9. Plan for how to address climate change impacts.
  10. Develop an integrated education, outreach, and workforce training program.

The plan specifically notes the importance of New Hampshire's forests, and managing them in a sustainable manner, to help reach the GHG goal. Forests cover 84 percent of the state and absorb and store large amounts of carbon. They also provide a renewable supply of wood for heating, lumber, and other forest products.

The task force also announced a new public and private partnership, the New Hampshire Energy and Climate Collaborative, which will oversee and guide implementation of the plan. The collaborative includes representatives from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the City of Nashua, the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, and the University of New Hampshire.

Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Tom Burack, who also chairs the task force, said the climate action plan's recommendations and goals are aggressive but achievable and will yield long-term economic benefits.

For more information, see the governor's March 25 press release and the plan.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in New Hampshire, see: