October 25, 2021

Governor says goals to address climate change should be codified

The New Mexico State Capitol, or Roundhouse Wikicommons.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for codifying New Mexico’s goals for addressing climate change while speaking at the state’s first climate summit hosted by House Speaker Brian Egolf on Monday.

During her speech, she highlighted progress that the state has made toward addressing and mitigating climate change and spoke about what still needs to be done.

“I think we should codify that work in the next legislative session,” Lujan Grisham said.

That call was met with applause from the audience in the House chambers at the New Mexico state capitol, where the conference was taking place.

“If we don’t have that framework in statute, it’s too easy to not move as diligently or as quickly or as effectively,” she said. “You may not have future commitments.”

She said elected officials change and the framework would preserve the efforts to address climate change even when that happens.

Following her speech, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said she was glad that the governor wants to put those goals in statute so that they are not disputed in the future.

Environmental Defense Fund Senior Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Jon Goldstein said his group has advocated for such an effort in the past.

“I think it’s incredibly exciting. I think that it’s a big step forward,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the details.”

Some of the things that Goldstein said hee would like to see in the law include greenhouse gas reductions and making sure that communities that rely on fossil fuel extraction are not left behind during the transition.

Lujan Grisham also said her call for the 2022 legislative session will include clean fuel standards for vehicles and a hydrogen hub.