NEW ORLEANS - Today, Council President and Utilities Chair Helena Moreno announced the final committee vote on the Council's Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard (RCPS), which would end emissions from Entergy New Orleans power generation by 2050, reaching net-zero emissions in 2040. Entergy New Orleans would be required to serve New Orleans customers with 100% clean power thereafter.
"This new policy will begin a rapid transition towards clean and renewable energy and away from fossil fuels. We simply can't wait - we must take strong climate action today. I believe that this climate action plan is bold, obtainable, and most importantly swift," said Council President Moreno. "With these rules, New Orleans will be the first territory in the gulf south and among the national leaders in confronting the generational challenge of climate change and helping secure a 100% clean and more resilient power future for us all.”
The RCPS sets mandatory, technology-agnostic standards for Entergy New Orleans to end carbon emissions by 2050 from its power generation facilities that serve New Orleans. By 2040, when the standard requires "net-zero" compliance, Entergy must supply 90% of New Orleans' power with clean and renewable sources. The UN's landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that greenhouse gas emissions must reach net zero by 2050 to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees C and avoid serious societal impacts from a drastically changing climate. The RCPS also sets a cost cap of 1% a year, guaranteeing climate action does not significantly impact ratepayers.
Advocates praised the new rules as a bold step towards a brighter future:
“This policy is a crucial step in the race toward a different energy future, and we are committed to the next steps to plan for efficient and renewable energy everyone can afford. The Alliance hopes other cities in the region listen to their people calling for a renewable, equitable, affordable, and livable Gulf South. With climate crises piling up day after day, there is zero time to waste.” said Logan Burke, Executive Director, Alliance for Affordable Energy.
"The updated regulations represent a crucial step towards a cleaner, more sustainable, and more resilient New Orleans. Audubon Delta commends Chair Moreno and the Utility Committee for regulating our utility in a manner to benefit people and birds, and we look forward to continued efforts to ensure that New Orleans residents have access to dependable, affordable, and equitably valued power," said Brent Newman, Senior Policy Director at National Audubon Society.
"The process of developing a policy to keep Entergy New Orleans accountable for providing access to renewable energy for the City of New Orleans has been a community effort from the beginning that 350 NOLA has been proud to be engaged with. This proposal is not the final destination for imperative climate action but is instead the first major step in the long road ahead towards climate justice and equity for the city," said Andy Kowalczyk of 350 New Orleans.
"New Orleans is taking a strong and vital step towards ensuring Louisiana continues its long-standing legacy as an energy production state by embracing renewable opportunities," said Stephen Wright of Gulf States Renewable Energy Industry Association.
The RCPS standards will be considered at a special Utilities Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 19, at 10 AM. You can watch live and submit public comment here: council.nola.gov/meetings/2021/20210519-utility-cable-telecom-and-tech/
Chief of Staff, Office of Helena Moreno