Cover image: Trevor Bexon
Nevadans, on average, contribute 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per person than the rest of the U.S.
The state released last week an inventory of Nevada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report was required by a new state law passed in June of 2019. The law requires the state to reduce GHG “by 28% below 2005 levels by 2025; 45% below 2005 levels by 2030; and zero or near-zero by 2050.
“Importantly, SB 254 also establishes a series of economy-wide GHG reduction goals. This is the first time Nevada has set GHG emissions reduction goals for all GHG emitting sectors of the state’s economy,” state officials wrote.
The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued the following statement: “Together, the Nevada Statewide GHG Inventory and statement of policies will help inform policymakers and the public on Nevada’s progress in reducing GHG emissions, and offer guidance for adopting the necessary policies and programs to meet Nevada’s statewide GHG reduction and climate change goals.”
State officials said Nevada is off to a good start, but more work is needed.
“Nevada is close to meeting the SB 254 goal of 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2025. A projected additional 4% reduction of GHG emissions is needed by 2025,” according to the report.
Transportation, since 2015, is the state’s leading source of GHG emissions. Electricity generation is the next greatest contributor. Electricity generation GHG declined because of the state’s renewable energy portfolio standards adopted in 1997. Transportation, meanwhile, increased from 1990 but has held steady since about 2008.
“This shift was mainly driven by Nevada’s increasing reliance on renewable energy and lower-GHG emitting natural gas, rather than any significant change in the transportation sector,” the report noted.
Emissions from transportation are expected to remain steady, while by 2030, Nevada is expecting electricity generation GHG emissions to become 25% of Nevada’s total GHG emissions. Electricity generation was nearly half of the state’s producer of GHG emissions in 2005.
Of all types of transportation, highway vehicle traffic is the greatest source of GHG emissions in Nevada.
“Considering only existing policies, the transportation sector is projected to remain the largest sector of GHG emissions in Nevada through 2039,” the report indicated.
Officials are recommending carpools, vanpools, more electric vehicles and more public transit.
Various state agencies collaborated on the document.
From the report
- Nevada has reduced GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 22% as of 2016, primarily through reductions in the electricity generation sector via Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
- Nevadans, on average, contribute 25% fewer GHG emissions per person than the rest of the U.S.
- As of 2016, Nevada contributed 0.68% of the nation’s total gross GHG emissions, despite having 0.90% of the U.S. population.
- Nevada is close to meeting the SB 254 goal of 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2025. A projected additional 4% reduction of GHG emissions is needed by 2025;
- New and ambitious policies will need to be implemented to meet the 2030 goal of 45% reduction in GHG emissions from 2005 levels; and
- Nevada has significant opportunities to offset GHG emissions through enhanced land management practices and the prevention of large wildland fires. Nevada’s forests, scrublands, urban trees, and agricultural lands can absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere to help offset GHG emissions from other sectors.
The report is online: ndep.nv.gov/uploads/air-pollutants-docs/ghg_report_2019.pdf
Or read it below.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.