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Energy | Environment | IndyBlog | Local Government

Commissioner will ask county to step up sustainability efforts

Gov. Sisolak speaking outside, in front of the Nevada Supreme Court on Earth Day before signing SB358 to raise the renewable portfolio standard. (Joey Lovato/The Nevada Independent)

Commissioner Justin Jones says it’s time for Clark County to tackle climate change.

Discussions that will take place at the board meeting on Tuesday will come in light of SB358 which passed in spring and requires the state to reach a 50 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2030.

“One of the things I’ll be looking for is hiring a full-time sustainability director of the county, as Reno did. And the director’s primary project [would be] to put together a climate action plan,” said Jones.

The City of Reno announced its own sustainability plan in July that includes standards for green building, clean energy and waste management, as well as plans for addressing food deserts, water management and urban parks. Jones also cited Climate Reality Project as another source that can provide somewhat of a model for Clark County.

“There have been ongoing high-level discussions on climate change,” Jones said in an interview. “Important work has been done by the Legislature and the governor earlier this year and [there was] a clean energy conference held by RTC a few weeks ago. So I wanted to have a discussion with my colleagues on the commission about stepping up on a county level on the issues of sustainability and climate change.”

The commission’s consideration comes amid heightened activity on climate change, on state and national levels.

Last month, Nevada’s top utilities regulator signed off on a climate agreement with California, Oregon and Washington that asks utility regulators in those states to share information about their conservation efforts. And earlier this month, presidential candidates engaged in all-day town halls on climate change.

An initiative to lock a 50-percent renewable portfolio standard in the state Constitution will be on the ballot in 2020.

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