Thursday, October 3, 2019

Maine's governor wants the state carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?

At the United Nations, Governor Janet Mills pledged to make Maine carbon-neutral by 2045, tasking the new Maine Climate Council to come up with a plan to do so via an executive order.

So what does being "carbon neutral" mean, and what would Maine likely have to do to achieve such a status -- something no other state and only one foreign country has thus far achieved? I explored this in the current edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram, which published last Sunday.

In short: Bhutan, the only country that's already carbon-neutral, is 71% forested and has about 50 people per square mile. Maine is 90% forested and has just over 40 per square mile -- a carbon sink with not that many people and a huge structural advantage right out of the starting block. It's still going to require massive changes in how energy is produced and the types of vehicles and heating devices we use to consume it. Details in the story.

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