Nevada’s State Climate Strategy establishes framework to advance statewide climate action for a healthy, sustainable, resilient future.

Moving to build a healthy, sustainable, climate-resilient future for all Nevadans, under the leadership of Governor Sisolak, the State of Nevada Climate Initiative today released the State Climate Strategy. The Strategy is an integrated, economy-wide roadmap for the Silver State to accelerate climate action necessary to achieve Nevada’s climate goals and capture the health and economic benefits of the clean energy and technology revolution.

As a foundation of this effort, Governor Sisolak issued a sweeping Executive Order on Climate Change in November 2019 directing the executive branch to evaluate, identify and recommend the most effective climate policies and regulatory initiatives in a comprehensive State Climate Strategy. This Strategy serves as a roadmap for state and local policymakers centered on the following goals:

  1. Provide a framework for reducing Nevada’s greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors consistent with the greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets set by the Nevada Legislature in 2019 and commensurate with Nevada’s commitments as a member of the United States Climate Alliance.
  2. Lay the groundwork for the bold actions necessary to improve Nevada’s resilience to current and future impacts of climate change.
  3. Establish a Nevada-specific structure for continued, ongoing climate action across the state in-line with achieving Nevada’s climate goals.

“It’s a new era for climate action in Nevada,” said Governor Sisolak. “The effects of climate change can be seen and felt in every corner of Nevada, impacting our collective public health, threatening our natural landscapes and limited water resources, and challenging the vibrancy of our communities and economy. For the first time in Nevada’s history, we are doubling down to address climate change head-on. The Nevada State Climate Strategy serves as the critical framework necessary to elevate climate action and foster a healthy, vibrant, climate-resilient future for all Nevadans – especially our most disadvantaged community members who live in the areas experiencing the greatest climate-related health and economic impacts. As we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action must play a key role in rebuilding a stronger, more climate-friendly and equitable economy for Nevada. Put simply, we must build back stronger.”

The Strategy was developed using the best available science, combined with robust input from thousands of Nevadans through a series of listening sessions on a range of climate topics, a statewide climate survey, discussions with local government leaders, and more.

The Strategy is just the beginning of future climate action in Nevada. As a living document, the Strategy will be adapted and updated as the impacts of climate change evolve and new climate-friendly technologies become available. Continued engagement and collaboration with Nevadans will be essential to informing and shaping future iterations of the Strategy.

“Climate action is truly a collaborative and cooperative effort, and I want to personally thank the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Governor’s Office of Energy, as well as all of our state agencies and interagency working groups, stakeholders, and all Nevadans who shared their input to help guide development of our State Climate Strategy,” said Governor Sisolak.

For more information or to view the State Climate Strategy, visit ClimateStrategy.nv.gov. For questions or comments regarding the strategy, please email climate@dcnr.nv.gov. Additionally, follow @NevClimate on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation using #NevClimateAction.

STATE CLIMATE STRATEGY HIGHLIGHTS

  • More than 75 percent of climate survey respondents in Nevada indicated they are ‘very concerned’ about climate change, with drought, wildfire, air quality, and extreme heat among the topics of greatest concern.
  • The State Climate Strategy applies a robust framework for evaluating 17 climate mitigation policies against four key metrics: GHG emissions-reduction potential, climate justice, economic implications, and implementation feasibility.
  • Low-income communities, people of color, and indigenous populations have disproportionately borne the burden of the impacts of climate change. Reconciling and addressing environmental justice concerns is a common thread throughout the State Climate Strategy.
  • Climate action and economic development activities in Nevada are intrinsically linked and can be strategically integrated to achieve their respective goals.
  • Nevada’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions inventory shows that, without climate action, the state will fall 4 percent short of the 2025 goal and 19 percent short of the 2030 emissions reductions goal. By meeting the state’s emission reduction targets, Nevada would prevent between $172 and $786 million in economic damages by 2030 and up to $4 billion by 2050.
  • Given the complexities of climate change, multiple issues must be considered together to develop a catalog of climate-related policies, programs, and plans that are harmonized within and across different levels of governance and economic sectors. Establishing a robust climate governance structure with clear processes and related authorities to reduce emissions and manage the cascading impacts of climate change will position Nevada to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Statements & Quotes from State Climate Strategy Contributors:

Dr. Kristen Averyt, State Climate Policy Coordinator, Nevada Climate Initiative: “Climate change is impacting all of us right now. Longer droughts, more wildfires, extended heat waves—these challenges are not going away. We must focus on the long game. This Strategy provides a framework that will ensure Nevadans are prepared to navigate all that climate change brings. Engaging stakeholders, working with communities, and collaborating across all state agencies and levels of government will help us define the path forward as climate change presents new challenges and opportunities. By taking action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions today, we can ensure a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren.”

Bradley Crowell, Director, Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: “The impacts of climate change continue to compound every day in Nevada. As the driest state in the nation, coupled with ever-growing intensity and frequency of wildfires, droughts, and floods, climate change represents an urgent threat to Nevada’s communities, economy, and our natural, cultural, and recreational resources. I thank Governor Sisolak for his support of the Nevada Climate Initiative and his steadfast commitment to addressing climate change in Nevada through his Executive Order on Climate Change which called for developing Nevada’s first comprehensive, statewide climate strategy. This State Climate Strategy is a foundational resource providing a roadmap for policymakers to implement Nevada-specific solutions to address the threats of climate change and seize the economic opportunities of the clean energy economy. I thank all of our local, state, and tribal partners for their collaboration and contributions to this critical undertaking. Under Governor Sisolak’s leadership, the State of Nevada Climate Initiative will continue to elevate Nevada’s commitment to the collaboration and innovation necessary to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, climate-resilient future for all Nevadans.”

David Bobzien, Director, Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy: “Nevada’s Climate Strategy is the product of extensive collaboration across the Administration. The Governor’s Office of Energy is pleased to have contributed to this framework promoting the expansion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transportation to advance the State’s climate goals and economic recovery.”

Melody Rose, Chancellor, Nevada System of Higher Education: “The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and the Board of Regents are committed to protecting the environment, reducing the System’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources, and promoting the construction, maintenance, and renovation of buildings that are environmentally responsible, economically feasible, and healthy spaces to work and live. The importance of Governor Sisolak’s Climate Initiative and Nevada’s clean energy and environmental sustainability goals cannot be understated. The overwhelming scientific evidence demands humanity address climate change immediately. We are proud of former Desert Research Institute president Dr. Kristen Averyt and her work to move the initiative forward with these strategies.”

Michael Brown, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development: “The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has identified climate change as one of the most significant threats, and opportunities, facing the state’s economy. By employing strategic and targeted approaches to climate-resilient economic development, innovation, and workforce training, climate change action can generate more and better jobs, optimize educational and workforce pipelines, and improve the state’s economic resilience.”

Kristina Swallow, Director, Nevada Department of Transportation: “The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) was proud to play a leading role in developing the Climate Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, paving the way to a more sustainable future for Nevada families. The transportation sector recently surpassed energy generation as the largest contributor of emissions in our State. Recognizing this ominous milestone, NDOT has been working hard to encourage alternative modes of transportation and carpooling to decrease the number of vehicles on our roads, as well as review our agency’s internal operations for opportunities to further reduce emissions. Through the Nevada Electric Highway, HOV lanes, Clean Cities, and other initiatives, we will continue to work collaboratively with our local, state, and federal partners on creative, data-driven strategies to reduce emissions across our vast transportation network.”

Jennifer Ott, Director, Nevada Department of Agriculture: “The Nevada Department of Agriculture is proud to support the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the State of Nevada’s Climate Strategy. Farmers and ranchers are often on the forefront of conservation efforts as the nation’s food and fiber industries rely on clean, plentiful water and healthy soils. The agriculture industry relies on policies that encourage all Nevadans to become stewards of the land.”