© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY
WECS · WEDW-FM · WNPR · WPKT · WRLI-FM · WVOF
Public Files Contact · ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Maine is exceeding its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals

This slide provided by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection shows a steady decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since a peak in 2002. The slight increase in emissions from 2020 to 2021 is a result of a post-pandemic rebound, according to the agency
Ari Snider
/
Maine DEP
This slide provided by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection shows a steady decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since a peak in 2002. The slight increase in emissions from 2020 to 2021 is a result of a post-pandemic rebound, according to the agency

Maine is exceeding its emissions reduction goals, according to a new report from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The agency said Maine has reduced greenhouse gas emissions even as economic output increases.

As of 2021, Maine's greenhouse gas emissions had fallen 30% below 1990 levels, according to the DEP's latest biennial emissions inventory released Tuesday. That puts the state ahead of schedule toward its goal of an 80% reduction by 2050, if current trendlines continue.

The DEP's Stacy Knapp said the reductions indicate that Maine's economy is transitioning to cleaner fuels, more efficient technology, and less carbon intensive industries.

"The point here is that Maine's GDP continues to grow steadily, while at the same time, at least since the peak in 2002, our gross greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing," she said.

Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen even as GDP has increased, according to the DEP.
Ari Snider
/
Maine DEP
Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen even as GDP has increased, according to the DEP.

Knapp said much of the emissions reduction can be linked to a decrease in petroleum fuel consumption. Maine's overall energy consumption is also trending downward, according to the report.

And when accounting for the amount of carbon dioxide soaked up by the state's forests, Knapp said Maine is close to achieving carbon neutrality — in other words, absorbing as much greenhouse gases as it emits.

"We are 91% percent of the way there," Knapp said. "We are so close we can almost taste it."

Knapp said that most of the state's emissions still come from burning fossil fuels.

In recent years, Maine's natural gas consumption has actually increased, largely to make up for reduced hydropower.

Transportation remains the state's most polluting sector, according to the report, far outpacing emissions from residential, commercial and industrial uses. While emissions from the transportation sector have fallen slightly since 1990, they remain stubbornly high.

Knapp said while the big picture findings are encouraging, recent trends will need to continue for the state to achieve its long-term goals.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content