Montana releases climate change plan

By 
Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, September 11, 2020

Gov. Steve Bullock Wednesday released the Montana Climate Solutions Plan, a 72-page document that includes recommendations for preparing for and responding to challenges posed by climate change.

“We are grateful for the dedicated work of Montana leaders that hashed out a made in Montana climate plan,” said Michelle Uberuaga, executive director of Park County Environmental Council.

The plan includes strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preparing Montanans for climate impacts and accelerating decarbonization.

“In 2016, our community saw firsthand how climate change can impact a local economy and ecosystem after the massive die-off of whitefish forced the closure of the Yellowstone River for weeks that summer,” Uberuaga said. “We look forward to working at the local level here in Park County to do our part and turn the plan into action. We have a long way to go, but this is an important first step.”

Montana is already seeing the effects of climate change, Bullock wrote in his introduction to the plan.

“There is an immediate and urgent need for the state to plan for the future and confront the needs to prepare our communities and economy,” Bullock wrote.

The recommendations include state programs and policy, utility regulatory, policy, incentive programs, federal policies, and university and business partnerships, Bullock wrote in an introduction to the plan.

Climate change does not just pose risks to our physical health, Bullock wrote, but risks to Montana’s economy and businesses as well.

“I applaud the Governor and Climate Solutions Council for beginning this critical conversation and recommending initial actions to help Montana address and adapt to climate change,” Moms Clean Air Force member Melissa Hornbein said. “Now we need to get to work implementing these actions, generating additional, science-based responses to the climate crisis, and transitioning Montana’s economy and its workers to a more sustainable and profitable future.”