On Wednesday, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló signed the Climate Change Mitigation, Adaption and Resiliency Act, a new law that would created “clear goals, metrics and deadlines to comply and address climate change,” according to a government media release.
“Climate change is real, and it is the biggest threat to our way of life. This is the issue of our generation. The time for discussion is over. Now it’s the time for action,” Rosselló said in the release.
“It is extremely important for Puerto Rico to have clear parameters to combat climate change. This law reflects my administration’s commitment to climate resiliency and aims to prepare our island for the changes that come,” he added.
Here is an English-language video of Rosselló making the announcement about the new law, minutes before he signed it.
The release also listed what the new law entails and what it instructs the Puerto Rican government to do:
- Keep temperatures below 2°C above pre-industrial levels
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a real, permanent, quantifiable way, by 50% within the next five years
- Reduce the general consumption of energy use by at least 1% per year, starting in the year 2020, until reaching a reduction of 10% by 2030 based on population density
- Transition to 100% renewable sources by 2050, achieving 40% by 2025 and reducing 50% carbon emissions in the next five years
- Prohibit the granting of new contracts and permits, or extension of current contracts, that establish or promote the continued use of coal-based power generation
- Reduce the current energy consumption of public facilities
- Promote the use of efficient energy, water and ventilation systems or those designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in any new construction
- Promote the use of hybrid vehicles or those that work with alternative sources of fuel by 2028.
- Progressive reduction of public waste deposited in Puerto Rico landfills by 60% by 2030.
- Instruct the Puerto Rico Department of Housing to develop programs to encourage use and installation of environmentally-friendly energy equipment.
- Prioritize the dredging of strategic reservoirs to increase water availability during times of drought.
- Reduce the population’s vulnerability to water scarcity through the implementation of water conservation programs in residences, businesses and industries, the harvesting of rainwater and the protection of aquifers and watersheds.
- Plant 500,000 native trees within the next five years
“Fellow governors, state and local leaders, the time for action is now. We must step up our efforts to combat the most imminent threat of our generation. I call upon all jurisdictions to have plans in place and to join Puerto Rico as we become more resilient and adapt our infrastructure, economy and society to the changes that lie ahead,” Rosselló noted in the release.