Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Climate Change Task Force gave an update Friday on the state’s progress in reaching Lujan Grisham’s climate change goals in its second annual report. Those goals include reducing emissions, increasing renewable energy generation and decarbonizing the transportation sector.
Lujan Grisham said her administration’s commitment to fighting climate change has only grown stronger this year, pointing to wildfire and drought conditions.
“We are dead set against allowing climate change to bring about the next public health crisis,” she said in a statement.
New Mexico produces more than twice the national average of greenhouse gas emissions per capita. Those high emissions are “largely the result of our greenhouse gas-intensive oil and gas industry, which makes up a significant portion of our overall greenhouse gas emissions profile,” the report said.
Data in the report indicates that methane emissions continue to be a problem for the state. Source: New Mexico Climate Change Task Force
Nationally, methane accounts for just 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, but in New Mexico, it accounts for 35 percent.
The report found that emissions generated from the oil and gas sector in the past few years have been greater than previously estimated, citing a recent peer-reviewed study from Colorado State University that analyzed emissions in New Mexico. The oil and gas sector generated 60 million metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, which is nearly four times more than previously estimated based on national data, according to the study.
The Task Force created nine interagency “Climate Action Teams” over the last year to tackle the state’s emissions problem and spearhead energy efficiency and sustainability work.