Governor Edwards to attend Scotland climate change summit
Governor John Bel Edwards, along with ten other officials from Louisiana, will travel to Scotland for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, to give the state a voice in the upcoming climate change negotiations.
Along with the governor and security personnel, the following members of the government will be present:
Special Assistant to Edwards Donald Dunbar
Don Pierson, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Thomas Harris Louisiana International Trade Bureau Executive Director Larry Collins
Deputy Director of the Louisiana International Trade Bureau Ben Fontenot
Deputy Director of the Office of the Governor of Coastal Activities Harry Vorhoff
Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Governor of Coastal Activities Charles Sutcliffe
Policy Advisor for the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities Lindsay Cooper
Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Special Projects Christina Stephens
President of the Center of Excellence in Urban Planning Camille Manning-Broome
Travel for everyone will be funded by the state, with the exception of Manning-Broome. Edwards and his team will leave on Thursday and the governor will return on November 4. Some members of his team may stay longer at the conference.
One of the topics discussed at the conference will be biomass and the wood pellet industry. Biomass, a renewable organic energy that comes from plants and animals, has been championed in the UK as a source of green energy. Much of the biomass burned in the UK comes from wood pellets made in the South East, notably Louisiana, which is home to several wood pellet factories.
Environmental activists condemn this practice on several levels. Many say that wood pellet factories pollute the surrounding areas, and that the practice of biomass depletes the woods and destroys the forests of the south.
Biomass advocates also say the practice is neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly, as carbon emissions from burning wood pellets are greater than those from burning fossil fuels. Louisiana officials have made no mention of the industry’s impact on carbon emissions, although other environmental measures have been announced.
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In October, Edwards announced the state’s membership in the international “Race to Zero” campaign, a campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Edwards is also part of the US Climate Alliance, a network of governors committed to state-led environmental action.
The state has launched a task force on climate initiatives 2020, with the aim of reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
“Make no mistake: an industry-wide transition to cleaner, less polluting energy production and use will occur, have Louisiana involved, so it is best that Louisiana is a leader in that space, ”Edwards said in a press release.
“For my part, I want world leaders to know that in Louisiana, we have the most productive manufacturing workforce in the country, a workforce that makes essential products that drive the global economy and a workforce ready to make these products but with a larger, smaller carbon footprint, ”he said.