New law requires state to consider climate change in economic planning

 

STATE HOUSE – A new law sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria and Rep. Jennifer Boylan will help ensure that climate change, rising seas and coastal resiliency are considered as the state makes its economic development plans.

The legislation (2024-S 2043A, 2024-H 7246A), which passed the General Assembly June 4 and was signed into law by Gov. Dan McKee Monday, adds data about climate change, sea level rise and coastal resiliency to the list of matters that should be considered by Rhode Island Commerce and the Division of Planning as part of the creation of the state’s long-term economic development vision and policy and strategic planning.

Accordingly, the new law also adds the directors of the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council to the Economic Development Planning Council convened by each governor.

“Our changing climate and the rising seas are a reality with profound effects on our future here in Rhode Island. When we are planning any aspect of that future, particularly something as far-reaching as our economic aspirations and strategies, we have to take climate change into account,” said Senator Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence). 

Said Representative Boylan (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence), “Not only do we need to ensure that our investments are able to withstand our changing climate, but with smart planning, Rhode Island can emerge as a leader in the growing green sectors, as more aspects of the economy shift toward carbon reduction and zero waste.”

 

 

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