Northeast States Walk the Walk on Cleantech, Clean Energy and Climate Leadership

While clean energy and cleantech is at risk of losing the vital federal support it’s had in recent years, here in the Northeast states are leading the transition to a clean energy based economy.

Earlier this month Clean Edge Inc. released it’s annual US Clean Tech Leadership Index, which ranks states by a number of indicators in three categories: technology, policy, and capital. Massachusetts leads all states in regards to capital.

Massachusetts and Vermont came in the second and third top spots.This is Massachusetts fifth consecutive year at the number two position, while Vermont clocks in at the number three spot for its second year in a row. Only California ranks higher than the two leading Northeast states, maintaining its position atop the list for the eighth straight year. New York and Connecticut were fifth and sixth in the ranking, while the remaining states we cover here at NECEC all fit within the top 20 in the country: Rhode Island (12), Maine (16) and New Hampshire (18). With advances in penetration of smart meters (The highest percentage in the country), Maine improved its overall ranking by two spots in the last year and has surged ahead 13 places since 2014.

Reflective of the political support for clean energy and climate, numerous Governors in our region took an important step this month in urging the Trump Administration to maintain the US’s commitment to advancing clean energy and addressing climate change by staying in the Paris Climate Accord. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Vermont Governor Phil Scott sent a letter referencing themselves as “the Republican Governors of states that have taken a leadership role in combating climate change.”

Earlier in May, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a similar letter, along with Governors from numerous other states. Both letters argued that if the US doesn’t maintain it’s climate leadership through national policies, we will lose the global clean energy race and miss out on the economic opportunities that come along with it.

“This would be a huge lost opportunity, putting us at a competitive disadvantage and potentially locking us into technologies and economic pathways that are increasingly obsolete while China and India reap the benefits of low-carbon leadership,” wrote Governors Raimondo, Cuomo and Malloy.

Governors Baker and Scott note that “There are shared costs that need to be addressed to cut carbon pollution, but we have also proven we can do it in a way that creates jobs, makes our states more competitive, and makes us leaders in the clean energy economy,” write the governors.

The leadership of our bipartisan governors in the Northeast is proven by our national ranking year after year, and demonstrates that, in the Northeast, combatting climate and change and transitioning to a clean energy economy is not a partisan issue. NECEC applauds our state leaders for maintaining their commitment to the clean energy transition.

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Sean Davenport

Sean is NECEC's Communications & Operations Associate.