When the Climate Solutions Act (HB 9) was introduced it was touted as a science-based approach that focused on protecting historically disadvantaged communities. Several community leaders praised it, calling on state legislators to protect public health and New Mexico’s air and water resources from climate change. “The Climate Solutions Act… is NM’s first step towards modeling environmentally conscious and resilient economic development, resulting in a more fair economy where all New Mexicans prosper while tackling the ever-growing threat of climate change to our everyday lives,” according to James Povijua, policy director for the Center for Civic Policy.

“HB9 begins the bold, long-term work NM needs to do to make sure historically marginalized communities across the state, especially rural communities and communities of color, can diversify their local economy and it guarantees New Mexicans are first in line to prepare for the high quality jobs and economic opportunities that will arise from clean energy industry,” he added.

That assessment was shared by Joseph Hernandez, Diné energy organizer. “The Climate Solutions Act will build upon the 2019 New Mexico Energy Transition Act, by taking a statewide approach of a just transition for every New Mexican.” Jon Goldstein of the Environmental Defense Fund and a former N.M. cabinet secretary, issued this statement. “This comprehensive bill will build on the leading climate commitments Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has made over the last few years. By enshrining science-based, emissions targets in statute and directing the New Mexico Environment Department to ensure regulations are in place to meet those reductions, it will protect local communities from the worst impacts of climate change, including worsening heat, drought and water scarcity. This bill takes an important step toward a just transition in New Mexico, by prioritizing historically disadvantaged communities for high-quality, clean energy jobs.

“As New Mexico tackles the existential threat of climate change head on, it will need to ensure that frontline communities across the state are at the table and able to play a central role in shaping policy action,” Goldstein said.

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