As part of her continued efforts to act on climate change and promote growth of a clean energy economy in Rhode Island, Governor Gina M. Raimondo today joined 17 governors from across the United States to announce the Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future. This Accord represents a bipartisan commitment to supporting clean energy, advancing a modern electrical grid, and promoting clean transportation options.
"Rhode Island is committed to securing a clean and affordable energy future," said Raimondo. "Already, we've taken valuable steps forward to reduce our environmental impact and grow green jobs by supporting the construction of the nation's first offshore wind facility, investing in renewables, and encouraging clean modes of transportation. More work remains, and this accord acknowledges the challenges we face and our commitment to addressing them. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues across the country to find innovative ways to grow our economy, tackle climate change, and shrink our carbon footprint."
The Governors' Accord provides participating members, who together represent 127 million Americans and vary considerably in their state's energy mix and policy portfolios, with a platform to learn from one another and collaborate on planning and policymaking. Signatories to the Accord commit to continuing to diversify energy generation in their state, expanding clean energy sources, modernizing infrastructure, and encouraging clean transportation options.
"American prosperity has always depended on embracing new ideas and technologies," the Accord states. "Embracing new energy solutions can provide more durable and resilient infrastructure, and enable economic growth, while protecting the health of our communities and natural resources. These improvements will help secure a safe and prosperous future for our country. We recognize that now is the time to embrace a bold vision of the nation's energy future. And to do so, states are once again poised to lead."
Rhode Island continues to be out front in addressing climate change and supporting clean energy. In December 2015, Raimondo issued a Lead by Example executive order, committing the state to using 100 percent renewable power in state government by 2025 and reducing energy use by 10 percent by the end of Fiscal Year 2019. The state recently developed the Efficient Buildings Fund to assist municipalities in improving their energy efficiency and is working with its partners on grid modernization to create jobs, improve system reliability, and reduce environmental impacts. Rhode Island is also part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which works to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by over 40 percent by 2020.
According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Rhode Island ranks fourth in the nation for energy efficiency. ACEEE's Annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard factors in policies for utilities, transportation, building energy codes, and state government-led initiatives, among others.