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Alaska officials complete state-level climate policy draft

May 20, 2018 GMT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska officials have taken a first step toward a comprehensive plan to address climate issues in the state.

The Climate Action Leadership Team, appointed by Gov. Bill Walker, released a draft document for a state-level climate policy earlier this month, the Juneau Empire reported .

The document outlines plans to reduce greenhouse gas by 30 percent and a 15 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2025. The draft recommends a switch to 50 percent renewable electricity sources by that same year.

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It also proposes using carbon pricing, a market-based method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions which puts a price on carbon emissions. The move may not sit well with oil and gas producers in the state.

The team’s draft proposes tough solutions for tough problems, and was not concerned with being politically salable, said Luke Hopkins, one of the 20 members of the Climate Action Leadership Team and the former mayor of Fairbanks.

“Whether we get there or not, we need to be bold with our plan,” Hopkins said.

Alaska has the fourth highest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions of any state in the country, according to a report by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The team is taking public comments on the draft through June 4 and will make revisions before sending it to the governor.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com