Gov. Roy Cooper signs executive order to comply with Paris Agreement

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Anna Dollar, News Reporter

Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order on Oct. 29 titled “North Carolina’s commitment to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy,” which supports the 2015 Paris Agreement.

By 2025, North Carolina will strive to lower statewide greenhouse emissions to 40 percent below the levels in 2005; bring up the number of registered, zero-emission vehicles to at least 80,000; lower energy use per square foot in state-owned buildings by at least 40 percent from economic year 2002-2003 levels, according to the executive order.

“We are already affected by climate change,” Ray Russell, representative-elect for the 93rd District of North Carolina and owner of RaysWeather.com, said.

He also said this has affected the High Country’s skiing and agriculture industries.

“I applaud the governor’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Russell said. “This commitment is really a commitment to protecting our environment, helping our economy and preserving the planet that we leave our children.”

App State also supports the efforts to encourage the use and development of technology that helps North Carolinians economically and environmentally, Lee Ball, chief sustainability officer for App State, said in an email.

“At the university level, we have seen a financial benefit to developing the awareness of how to solve complex problems that have an environmental as well as an economic impact,” Ball said in an email.

Russell and Ball said they look forward to seeing how the new executive order helps the High Country.

“More than half of our students have chosen to attend Appalachian because of our commitment to think critically and creatively about sustainability and what it means from the smallest individual action to the most broad-based applications,” Ball said in an email.

Story by Anna Dollar