Nevada is committed to reducing GHG emissions, which contribute directly to climate change. With the passage of SB 254 in 2019, Nevada adopted aggressive GHG emissions-reduction targets: 28% by 2025, 45% by 2030, and net-zero (near-zero) by 2050. These targets are in line with neighboring states in the region and are an important step toward managing climate change. Nevada has a jump start on meeting these targets by embracing its abundant renewable resources to generate clean electricity under the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). However, there is still much work to do across all sectors of Nevada’s economy.
Nevada’s GHG emissions inventory mirrors trends occurring across the western United States, where transportation-sector emissions (35%) now exceed those from the energy sector (32%), historically the largest source of GHG emissions. Industrial, residential, and commercial emissions are growing rapidly, while those associated with other sectors remain relative consistent. To reduce and ultimately eliminate GHG emissions, Nevada will need to take bold and decisive action.
Under current policies and based on the best available science, Nevada is currently on a path to reduce economy-wide GHG emissions 24% by 2025 (4% short of the 28% goal) and 26% by 2030 (19% short of the 45% goal), thus missing the emissions-reduction goals. Consequently, new mitigation-focused policies, programs, investments, and regulations are needed to put the state on the path toward realizing net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.
The 2020 State Climate Strategy informs policymaking on how Nevada will achieve the ambitious targets established by SB 254 and provides an integrated framework for evaluating climate policies that make sense for Nevada. Given the complexities of climate change, it is imperative that policies to reduce GHG emissions be approached systematically so there is a clear understanding of the benefits and tradeoffs. This will optimize each given policy’s effectiveness and maximize the benefits for all Nevadans.