Today Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order to establish a Virginia Climate Change Commission to proactively develop a comprehensive plan to protect Virginia’s communities from the impacts of climate change. Southern Environmental Law Center’s Cale Jaffe, director of the Virginia office, was selected to join the nonpartisan advisory group.
McAuliffe is reinstating a commission that was originally established by former governor tim kaine in 2007 and included southern environmental law center (SELC) Senior Attorney Trip Pollard. The commission was charged with evaluating the impacts of climate change on the health of Virginia’s citizens, economy, and natural resources and creating an action plan to identify strategies to prepare for the likely statewide consequences of climate change.
“The southern environmental law center applauds Governor McAuliffe for having the foresight and wisdom to establish this important commission,” said Cale Jaffe. “Virginia is in a unique position in that we are one of the states that are most susceptible to rising sea levels linked to climate change, but we are also among the states that are best situated to play a lead role in developing solutions.”
“Norfolk now routinely makes national news for flooding and rising sea levels, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists the Hampton Roads region as second in the nation, only behind New Orleans, for metropolitan areas at-risk from sea level rise. At the same time, communities throughout the Commonwealth are eager to create jobs in a 21st century, clean energy economy. Virginia has immense potential to reduce carbon pollution by promoting more efficient transportation solutions and by growing industries in solar power, offshore wind, and energy efficiency—which will be good for the health of our economy and our environment.”