Eyeing billions in federal infrastructure dollars, Louisiana’s Climate Initiatives Task Force is evaluating several ongoing projects including a transition to hydrogen energy and building electrical vehicle infrastructure, reports Louisiana Illuminator. But the effort faces significant obstacles to achieving its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The task force has already begun to pick what its members call “low-hanging fruit” in the form of updating Louisiana’s building efficiency standards.
Thanks to the Louisiana Legislature’s passage of Act 635 this year, a new one-time commission will review the latest international standards to propose amendments to state building codes that address energy efficiency.
Jacqueline Dadakis with the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council said at a task force meeting Tuesday that the state consistently ranks last in the nation on total energy costs for residential buildings.
According to the Environmental Energy and Study Institute, residential and commercial buildings are responsible for almost 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions through their manufacture and assembly as well as their use of electricity for lighting, heating, cooling and running appliances.
“I think we’re looking at about a 35 to 40 percent improvement on future buildings,” Dadakis says.
However, the task force’s biggest challenge is industrial decarbonization. Louisiana’s climate issues come largely from industrial sources, which emit 66% of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions and consume 72% of the state’s energy, according to Louisiana’s 2021 Greenhouse Gas Inventory compiled by LSU researchers.