State panel issues climate change report

Image by Flickr user mrk_photoImage by 20080806pollution.jpg How can we deal with the threat of climate change in South Carolina? Well, one advisory group has a few ideas. 51 of them, actually.

The South Carolina Climate, Energy & Commerce Advisory Committee (CECAC) has released its final report on how the state should address climate change, and the public now has until the end of the month to offer their thoughts (at least officially).

Check out the report online.


The CECAC was tasked with considering, evaluating, and compiling a multi-sector set of recommended policy options and presenting them to the Governor. Appointed by the Governor, the CECAC comprises a diverse group of stakeholders bringing broad perspective and expertise to the topic of climate change in South Carolina. Members represent the following sectors: energy, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, tourism and recreation, heath care, non-governmental organizations, academia, and state and local government.

So what did they say? Well, the report offers 53 recommendations on how to deal with the energy crisis, over the course of several hundred pages. (If you want the light version, there's an executive summary that's only 17 pages.)

Much of it was addressed by The Post and Courier about a month ago, when some details of the plan came out. But some of the key recommendations, according to the report's executive summary are:

Recommendation of a comprehensive set of 51 specific policies to reduce GHG emissions and address climate-, energy-, and commerce-related issues in South Carolina. (The list of these starts on page 11, if you're looking for them.)
Recommendation of a voluntary, economy-wide goal for South Carolina to reduce gross GHG emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2020, equal to successful implementation of the policy recommendations.
Evaluation of the costs, savings, and feasibility of building and infrastructure efficiency to enhance energy and economic policy in South Carolina.
Review, update, and approval of a comprehensive inventory and forecast of GHG emissions in South Carolina from 1990 through 2020.

So what's next? Well, as we said, the public has until August 31 to offer their thoughts on the proposals. You can e-mail them to, and they'll be compiled to make up an Appendix L on the report. After that, it'll require a lot of initiative and action on the part of lawmakers, industrial leaders, and the general public to actually turn recommendation into reality.

The Post and Courier offered an initial reaction to the report, but more analysis is expected later.

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