Wednesday, October 4, 2023

EMNRD launches Climate Policy Bureau as Earth Day Approaches


The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) announced the launch of its new Climate Policy Bureau  on Friday. 

The bureau is apart of the department's Energy Conservation Management Division (ECMD). The department aims for the new bureau to build New Mexico's capacity to adapt to climate change.  The Climate policy Bureau will support interagency efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow the green economy and develop a statewide climate action plan. 

“Adding a Climate Policy Bureau formalizes and elevates our agency’s laser focus on addressing climate change in New Mexico,” said EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst. “This group of experts will focus on strategies to reduce emissions and increase resilience across the state, while also supporting the governor’s interagency Climate Change Task Force,” she continued. 

Rachel Finkelstein, an ex-Senior Policy Advisor from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, will be leading the Climate Policy Bureau. 

“I am thrilled to take on this critically important task of helping to steer New Mexico’s action on climate change,” Finkelstein said. “Many people across the state already are doing outstanding work in that regard. I hope I can help in moving those efforts forward with a focus on climate justice." 

The Climate Change Bureau will work to support state agency efforts to comply with Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s climate change and energy waste prevention executive order. They will also develop plans and direct funds to help communities around the state become more resilient to climate hazards and they will improve the climate risk map that was launched by the ECMD in 2021. 

“As we approach another Earth Day, we are pleased to be making progress in our ongoing efforts to fight climate change,” said ECMD Director Louise Martinez. “Launching the Climate Policy Bureau is a major milestone in those efforts. However, we also look forward to the Climate Risk Map update, and really hope members of the public will provide input into that process.”


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