Illinois Joins Climate Alliance
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois has become the 18th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of states pledging to abide by the Paris Climate Agreement, which President Donald Trump abandoned. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order Wednesday, January 23, adding Illinois to the pact, which aims to reduce America's greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
But now 18 states representing 43 percent of the country have pledged to work toward the Paris goals.
"Illinois is well-positioned with the Future Energy Jobs Act and its implementation starting this spring," said Scott Tess, Urbana's environmental sustainability manager. "The governor's announcement is very encouraging, and I hope that it signals an interest to build upon the Future Energy Jobs Act and to quickly move toward a 100 percent renewable electricity grid in Illinois."
Illinois had already committed to having 25 percent of its energy come from renewable energy by 2025, and the executive order says that Illinois has the opportunity to "be on a path toward 100 percent clean and renewable energy."
Tess said the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act provides new incentives for wind and solar energy starting this year, which should enhance the Solar Urbana- Champaign program, now in its fourth iteration this year. "There were incentives in previous years as well, but they were short-term statutes, so this is a long-term plan for incentivizing renewable energy," Tess said. "So Solar UC 4.0 is utilizing those."
This article is an excerpt taken from the News-Gazette.