NEWS: Energy and environmental policy
E3 Forecasts New Mexico Emissions and Contributes to 2020 New Mexico Climate Strategy

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April 14, 2021

In a new report, E3 inventoried 2018 emissions in New Mexico and estimated the impact that current state climate policies will have as the state aims to hit its 2030 (and potential 2050) GHG emissions targets. The report showed that while state and federal policies will drive down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New Mexico, there remains a gap between the emissions reductions in current policies and the emissions reductions required to reach potential 2050 targets.

The report contributes to recent efforts by New Mexico and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to achieve GHG reductions. In 2019, Governor Lujan Grisham issued an Executive Order for the State of New Mexico to join the United States Climate Alliance and set an economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 (EO 2019-003). In this Executive Order, she also established a Climate Change Task Force to evaluate policies and strategies to achieve the target, including increasing the ambition of the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), implementing Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards, updating building codes, and developing a comprehensive, statewide, enforceable regulatory framework to reduce oil and gas sector methane emissions and prevent waste from new and existing sources. In 2019, the Climate Change Task Force published its first report detailing initial recommendations for policies and actions to reduce emissions across the state. E3’s new report, commissioned by Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), supported and was cited by the 2020 New Mexico Climate Strategy Report, the task force’s second report.

E3’s analysis provided data and metrics to help New Mexico analyze the scope of statewide GHG emissions and target policies to reduce emissions. Working closely with representatives from various state agencies, especially ‎the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department of New Mexico (EMNRD), E3 gathered data for the inventory and forecast. E3 based inventory data on publicly available federal and state sources and used a PATHWAYS model for New Mexico for forward-looking scenario analysis. E3 analysis provided an inventory of New Mexico emissions in 2018, which highlighted the significant recent growth of oil and gas emissions as a key state emissions source. E3 found that existing statewide policies contribute significant carbon reductions but are not sufficient to meet 2030 carbon goals. Given the recent growth of the oil and gas sector, E3 found that additional policy action is necessary to address some combination of vehicle electrification, building efficiency and electrification, and advanced biofuels.

The final report, co-authored by E3’s Sharad Bharadwaj, Rawley Loken, Tory Clark, and Amber Mahone, is available here.

filed under: Energy and environmental policy