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Maine Climate Council issues a progress report in the third year of its climate action plan

Electric vehicle chargers in Bangor on April 12, 2023.
Murray Carpenter
/
Maine Public
Electric vehicle chargers in Bangor on April 12, 2023.

Three years into its four-year climate plan, the Mills administration issued a progress report on Friday.

Council co-chair Hannah Pingree, who leads the state office of Policy Innovation and the Future, said one big change over the last few years is that funding has caught up with the plan's ambitions. That includes both state and federal funding.

"The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, they've really been game changers in terms of the market for everything from green energy to EVs to also funding infrastructure," Pingree said.

The council noted that the state surpassed its goal of having 100,000 heat pumps installed, two years early, and set a new target of 175,000 more by 2027.

But the report shows only modest growth in registered battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The number grew to just over 12,000, far from its goal of more than 200,000 by the end of the decade.

Pingree said the numbers should improve as the charging network develops across the state, and more EVs become available.

"A lot of this, I don't want to say is out of the state's control, but the huge changes in the market will make a significant difference in Maine's ability to meet our goals," Pingree said.

Pingree said the state is also tracking its climate progress on a online dashboard.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.