Climate Action Plan Recommendations for a Stronger, Greener, Healthier Maine

The Maine Climate Council is considering recommendations for the new statewide Climate Action Plan, and is asking Maine people to provide input through online surveys. Now is the time for you to speak up for the environment and our communities! The following recommendations have been identified by Maine’s environmental, public health, social justice, and community organizations, including Environment Maine, as essential components for Maine's Climate Action Plan. We urge you to fill out the surveys today and encourage the Climate Council to take bolder, quicker action to reduce carbon pollution.

Anya Fetcher

Make Your Voice Heard for a Bold Climate Action Plan in Maine by Completing the Maine Climate Council Surveys

The Maine Climate Council is considering recommended strategies for the new statewide Climate Action Plan and now is the time for Maine people to provide input through an online survey. There is a general survey as well as individual surveys by topic area aligned with the working groups that made the recommendations. Whether you complete one survey or all seven, we urge you to submit your input before the August 31st deadline.

Please consider the following recommendations when filling out the surveys and join us in calling on the Climate Council to take these necessary steps to secure Maine’s future.

1. Fill out the general Climate Action Plan survey using the talking points below:

  • Maine is already seeing the impacts of climate change. Ocean acidification and sea level rise threaten Maine’s coastal communities, ecosystems, and economy. Warmer winters mean more disease-carrying ticks, and cold weather sports such as skiing and ice fishing, our forests, our fishing industry, even our maple syrup industry are at risk.

  • This is the moment for Maine to build a healthier, more equitable and resilient future for everyone who lives in Maine. But we can only get there with clear direction and real solutions that will ensure our steady transition to a prosperous clean energy future.

  • The statewide Climate Action Plan being developed by the Maine Climate Council must identify the concrete legislative and regulatory actions necessary to set the state on a trajectory to reduce climate pollution at least 80% by 2050.

  • This is no time to wait. Maine’s people overwhelmingly support and deserve action today for a better future tomorrow. Acting on climate change will help preserve our beautiful planet, strengthen our economy, and build a healthier, more resilient future for all of us. These are investments in our future we can’t afford to pass up.

  • Now is the time to capture the far-reaching economic, public health, and environmental benefits that bold climate action will deliver for Maine. 

2. Fill out all or some of the topic-specific surveys based on your interests. 

We’ve detailed the below talking points for each survey based on priority actions that have been identified by Maine’s environmental, public health, social justice, and community organizations — including Environment Maine — as essential components for Maine’s Climate Action Plan. Note, the actions listed below are based on strategies submitted by the Climate Council’s Working Groups, but in some cases have been revised to be more actionable, measurable, or ambitious.

Transportation Survey:

  • The Climate Action Plan must take bold, binding action to address pollution from cars and trucks, the largest and fastest growing source of carbon pollution in Maine and a major contributor of air pollution harmful to human health.

  • Invest in a modern transportation system that gives people healthy, safe, and affordable options, including increasing public transportation funding to at least $5 per capita by 2025. 

  • Work with other jurisdictions to design the regional Transportation & Climate Initiative to generate sorely needed funding for healthier, more affordable transportation solutions across Maine and ensure projects serve the needs of all Maine residents, especially rural and other underserved populations, and improve air quality in air pollution hotspots.

  • Expand electrification of cars and trucks to 70% of sales by 2030, with interim milestones and a dedicated investment in necessary charging infrastructure.

Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Survey:

By 2022, ensure every Mainer has the opportunity to live or work in an energy efficient home or building by:

  • Financing ultra-efficient and highly cost-effective new affordable housing through Maine Housing;

  • Launching an initiative to manufacture zero-energy homes in Maine to replace aging, inefficient mobile homes;

  • Dramatically scale up the successful low-income weatherization programs to tighten up leaky homes—which are also often unsafe and unhealthy; 

  • Increase access to financing for home efficiency improvements and expand support for heat pump installations; and

  • Align Maine with international best practices by requiring progressively tighter standards for space-and water-heating systems and building codes for  residential and commercial buildings.

Energy Survey:

  • Accelerate the transition to a future powered by local, clean energy 

  • Create new financing options by 2023 to stimulate clean energy development and jobs, including a Maine Green Bank and increased revenue bonding.  

  • Set a clear pathway for meeting Maine’s 100% clean energy Renewable Portfolio Standard target. Encourage innovation in technology such as energy storage and explore structural solutions, including consumer ownership of Maine’s power delivery systems and/or multi-state or national carbon pricing initiatives.

Natural and Working Lands Survey:

  • Create a dedicated, sustained public funding source by 2022 that generates at least $15 million annually to conserve working forest, agricultural, and ecologically significant lands. 

  • Support climate-friendly land management practices and infrastructure development on Maine farms to increase carbon storage and strengthen resiliency. 

  • Create a forest carbon sequestration program to incentivize sustainable forest management that keeps ecologically significant lands intact, particularly where development pressure is high.

  • Expand the state’s Ecological Reserve System to increase climate resiliency.

Coastal and Marine Survey:

  • Further enhance mitigation by 2022 by conserving and restoring coastal habitats that naturally store carbon (blue carbon optimization).

  • More vigorously promote by 2022 climate-adaptive ecosystem planning and management using nature-based solutions.

Community Resilience, Public Health, and Emergency Management Survey:

  • Markedly improve by 2022 the delivery (system) of technical assistance on resilience to municipalities.

  • Establish by 2022 funding mechanisms to achieve resilience. Establish a non-disaster related “State Infrastructure Climate Adaptation Fund” that would allow municipalities and state agencies to access the funds needed to supplement the often-excessive local cost shares associated with adaptation projects.


Anya Fetcher