EPA’s climate action is good for New Hampshire

It’s an opportunity for businesses and investors to continue to innovate and build a clean energy economy

Tackling climate change has been an economic driver for businesses and investors throughout New England. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency released groundbreaking draft standards that will limit carbon pollution from existing power plants — the single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

These new draft standards provide an opportunity for New Hampshire businesses and investors to continue to innovate and build a clean energy economy.

As members of the investment community, we see the trend toward a clean economy as a good investment. That is why Pax World Management LLC joined nearly 50 investors managing $800 billion in assets in a letter supporting the creation of these proposed regulations and calling on states like New Hampshire to work with the EPA to reduce carbon emissions.

The draft standards are the first national comprehensive effort to reduce carbon pollution, the leading cause of climate change. By tackling climate change, we are addressing a major risk to the economy and to the investments of individuals and institutions around the country. Increased frequency of severe storms, sea level rise, floods and warmer temperatures are just some of the changes that will affect all aspects of the supply chain.

However, these rules are not just about reducing risks; they’re also about creating economic opportunities.

The draft carbon pollution standards will help states scale up solutions we already know work to lower emissions and grow the economy. Each state will tailor its plan to the policies, industries and practices unique to it.

New Hampshire is already on target to tackle climate change and invest in renewable energy. In 2007, the state passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard, and in 2005 New Hampshire joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

RGGI and the RPS have helped to create jobs, spur innovation and attract investments. With wind and biomass energy, we are on the path toward reaching the goal of 24.8 percent of all energy produced from renewable sources by 2025.

New Hampshire businesses like Stonyfield, Timberland, SustainX and Worthen Industries are leaders in addressing climate change, while increasing revenues. These businesses show investors and policymakers that we can grow the economy and reduce emissions. The draft carbon pollution standards will provide additional certainty for companies and investors and offer clear market signals that the U.S. is committed to lowering emissions.

Thankfully, the EPA recognizes all of the successes states, businesses and households around the country have already achieved in reducing carbon emissions. The EPA has crafted a flexible means for states to reduce emissions from power plants, including through existing energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.

Now the ball is in New Hampshire’s court to craft an innovative plan to maximize emissions reductions through a range of clean energy solutions. The draft carbon pollution standards can help New Hampshire lawmakers create jobs and investment opportunities, while protecting human health and the environment.

Dr. Julie Fox Gorte is a senior vice president at Pax World Management LLC, a Portsmouth-based investment company and a member of the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk.

Categories: Opinion