NC and Climate Change

Caught Off Guard: The American Southeast Struggles With Climate Change

Jan 27, 2020

Like hundreds of other cities, Louisville, Kentucky, is searching for a path to address climate change. Mayor Greg Fischer has declared a climate emergency, proposed a climate action plan and set a goal of reducing citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. 

Gov. Roy Cooper (seated) signed Executive Order 80 in 2018 at SAS Institute's solar farm in Cary.  With him were DEQ Secretary Michael Regan (right) and SAS executive Jerry Williams.
NCDEQ

With the federal government's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, state and local governments in North Carolina have set their own ambitious goals for addressing climate change. Now, they're puzzling over how to carry out the big changes needed to reach those goals - such as switching to electric vehicles and shifting to more renewable energy. At least for now, it's still mostly data-gathering and discussion. 

drought
Pixabay

North Carolina is on track to experience the most significant changes to its climate ever by the end of this century, according to a new report.

Corn
Alternative Heat / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

The federal government’s leading atmospheric research agency published data this week showing 2019 was North Carolina’s hottest year on record.

Climate Change Poses Threats To NC Christmas Tree Crop

Dec 5, 2019
Fir trees
Pixabay

Thoughts of Yuletide and climate change don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but the state’s Christmas trees are not immune to the threats.

EDDIE GARCIA / WFDD

When fall arrived this year, it didn't make its entrance with crispy air and cooling temperatures. In fact, the temperature around here was downright summer-like, with some days 10 degrees higher than the average. Plus, there was very little rain for a while. 

Shipwrecks off the coast of North Carolina have long drawn divers and even treasure hunters. Now, species of tropical and subtropical fish are showing up, driven there by the impacts of climate change.

Duke Energy hopes to replace its Asheville coal-fired power plant with this gas plant later this year.
Duke Energy

A Duke University climate scientist and 27 former federal environmental officials are calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to order a halt on building new gas pipelines and power plants in North Carolina. 

Governor Cooper speaks at the Climate Change Interagency Council in September.
N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

State officials are proposing electric vehicle tax credits and an expanded network of charging stations on state roads as part of their efforts to reduce carbon emissions — but they’re still not sure how much it will cost or how to fund their plans. The proposals are part of the North Carolina Climate Change Interagency Council, which met last Friday.

Public comments are due Sept. 9 on the draft plan.
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality

State environmental officials have released the draft of a proposed North Carolina Clean Energy Plan, a requirement of Governor Roy Cooper's executive order on climate change last year. 

Electric utility vehicles
David Boraks / WFAE

A proposal working its way through the Charlotte City Council takes aim at climate change, by setting a goal of converting city buildings and vehicles to clean energy within 12 years. The city also wants to encourage residents and businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

 A geologist with decades of expertise in climate change and coastal erosion has resigned from the state science advisory panel he helped found. Stan Riggs says politics have made the panel "ineffective."

David Boraks / WFAE

Protesters were a fixture outside the recent climate change summit in Paris, calling on world leaders to agree on a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On Wednesday, local activists staged a rally of their own, supporting a new federal plan addressing climate change - and opposing North Carolina’s response. 

Colorado Springs Police Department

Robert Lewis Dear, the man suspected in Friday’s attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, had lived in the Carolinas before moving to Colorado a year ago. Neighbors say he kept mostly to himself. Meanwhile, in other news this weekend, North Carolina will meet Clemson in next weekend's ACC championship football game in Charlotte.

Michael Tomsic / WFAE

North Carolina’s agriculture industry supplies nearly a fifth of the state’s jobs and revenue, according to the Department of Agriculture. It is also perhaps the industry most threatened by the increasing temperatures and extreme weather associated with climate change, but studies show only a minority of farmers believe in it. Nevertheless, the industry is unintentionally preparing.


NC And Climate Change, Part 2: The Top Threats

May 29, 2014
Duncan McFadyen / WFAE

The southeast United States faces a host of threats from climate change. Intensifying temperatures and extreme weather could affect anything from dam safety to airport tarmacs to the range of diseases that can thrive. The most recent National Climate Assessment points to three areas most threatened: coastal communities, the agriculture industry, and water availability. In the second of a three part series, WFAE looks at how the state is, or isn’t, preparing to adapt.


NC And Climate Change, Part 1: Preparation Stops

May 28, 2014
Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina has a complicated relationship with climate change. The state was one of the first to consider its impacts and possible responses, but today—as reports like the National Climate Assessment issue ever more dire warnings—few policies are in place to adapt. In the first of a three part series, WFAE explores the shift.