At a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Janet Mills introduced “An Act to Establish the Maine Climate Change Council to Assist Maine to Mitigate, Prepare for and Adapt to Climate Change.” The governor’s bill, sponsored by Republican Senator David Woodsome of York County, will go to the Legislature for consideration.

The council would be charged with recommending policies and strategies to reduce Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and at least 80 percent by 2050, and with insuring that 80 percent of electricity consumed in Maine comes from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. The first Climate Action Plan would be submitted to the Legislature by December 1, 2020.

“Evidence continues to mount that the impacts of climate change are harming our state and nation. Even the administration in Washington has joined the chorus of concerned scientists,” Mills said. The federal Environmental Protection Agency published a report last week issuing climate change preparedness guidance for communities nationwide already struggling with natural disasters. The report stated that climate change “is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of some natural disasters.”

During the governor’s press conference, Bill Mook, owner of Mook Sea Farms in Walpole, said, “Climate change threatens the future of Maine’s seafood industry and our coastal communities. The governor’s bill is a crucial first step on a path that leads to dramatically lower carbon emissions, new economic opportunities, and avoids the worst of the forecasted climate scenarios, for the sake of our children and their children.”

Governor Mills announced her intention to create the Maine Climate Council in February when Maine joined the U.S. Climate Alliance.