Audubon Statement: Climate and Equity Executive Order Builds on Bipartisan Energy Bill

Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 246 provides important next steps for North Carolina clean energy transition.

“Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order 246 today, providing important new steps that build on bipartisan energy legislation passed last year,” said Andrew Hutson, Audubon North Carolina Executive Director and National Audubon Society Vice President. “It expands North Carolina’s clean energy goals and sets a framework to make our energy transition just and equitable. Birds tell us there’s no time to lose on climate action. This executive order goes a long way toward broadening our state’s action, and making sure it’s done in a way that considers the impacts and benefits to all North Carolinians.”

Executive Order 246 highlights:

  • Sets new, economy-wide climate goals of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
  • Updates the statewide greenhouse gas inventory to take stock of the state’s current emissions and ensure we’re making progress to reach our goals.
  • Directs NC Department of Transportation to create a Clean Transportation Plan and update the state’s zero emission vehicle goals, aiming for 1.25 million vehicles by 2030.
  • Includes important steps toward curbing environmental and climate injustices:
    • Directs cabinet agencies to identify environmental justice leads and to consider environmental justice when taking actions related to climate and clean energy.
    • Requires agencies to have a public participation plan
    • Directs agencies to prioritize environmental justice in budget decisions and to engage advocates and stakeholders to identify additional executive actions to advance an equitable clean economy.

Media Contact: Ben Graham,

About Audubon North Carolina

Audubon North Carolina, a state program of the National Audubon Society, has offices in Durham, Boone, Corolla, and Wilmington. Learn more at and on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.​ The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

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