Since September 2019, the Island Institute’s climate work has had a major focus on the Maine Climate Council, our state’s leading climate action initiative. We are proud to have had four staff members selected by Governor Mills to serve on the Council’s working groups and to be among the most engaged organizations supporting the state to take action on this issue.
These three-year Council appointments include:
- Marine Scientist Susie Arnold – Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
- Senior Policy Officer Nick Battista – Coastal and Marine Working Group
- Senior Community Development Officer Sam Belknap – Community Resilience Planning, Public Health, and Emergency Management Working Group
- Chief Community Development Officer Suzanne MacDonald – Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Working Group and the Climate and Equity Advisory Committee
Our Council work has allowed us to highlight the lessons we have learned from working alongside coastal and island communities on climate-related issues for more than a decade, and ensure that the state is keeping the needs and concerns of some of the state’s smallest and most remote communities at the forefront.
Please see the following articles, reports, and presentations that highlight our Council work as well as additional information and resources surrounding some of the key climate-related issues affecting Maine’s island and coastal communities:
- Ticking the box or designing for meaningful change?
- For Mook Sea Farm, “Problems are the raw material for innovation”
- Sea level rise affects everyone on the Maine coast
- Spark! grant helps communities tackle energy efficiency projects
- Coast offers climate mitigation potential; The Working Waterfront
- Maine’s climate work must aim for equitable impact; The Working Waterfront
- A new soundtrack for our working waterfronts; The Working Waterfront
- Scientific Assessment of Climate Change and Its Effects in Maine – Maine Climate Council Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
OTHER RELATED PRESENTATIONS
- BDN Climate Conversations: Coastal resilience and sea level rise
- The answers to your questions about sea level rise in Maine; Bangor Daily News, August 14, 2020
- Midwest Energy Policy Series – Rural Energy Efficiency presentation; co-presented by Island Institute Climate Specialist Emma Wendt (starts at 59:00; Q&A is at ~1:56:30)
BACKGROUND ON THE MAINE CLIMATE COUNCIL
On June 26, 2019, Governor Janet Mills and the Maine Legislature created the Maine Climate Council, an assembly of scientists, industry leaders, bipartisan local and state officials, and engaged citizens to develop a four-year plan to put Maine on a trajectory to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and at least 80% by 2050. By Executive Order of Gov. Mills, the state must also achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
The Maine Climate Council is charged with developing strategies to both reduce Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure Maine’s people, economy, and communities are more resilient to the impacts of climate change. In June 2020, the six working groups of the Maine Climate Council presented their draft strategies for the council, and throughout the summer the public was invited to offer feedback on what they think should be included in Maine’s four-year Climate Action Plan.