Governor's Climate Priorities


The State of Rhode Island has established aggressive goals regarding climate change, including:

  • Advancing a 100% renewable electricity future for Rhode Island by 2030.
  • Increasing in-state renewable energy tenfold by 2020 (to 1,000 MWs) through new development and regional procurement.

Actions Taken

Rhode Island has worked to address climate change in numerous ways, including:

  • In January 2020, the Governor signed an Executive Order advancing a 100% renewable electricity future for Rhode Island by 2030.
  • On July 1, 2018, the Resilient Rhody strategy outlining an actionable vision for addressing the impacts of climate change in Rhode Island was released.
  • In September 2017, the Governor took executive action by issuing Executive Order 17-10 to accelerate the State’s preparedness and to mitigate further environmental harm, directing Rhode Island’s first Chief Resiliency Officer to develop and lead implementation of a comprehensive climate preparedness strategy by July 1, 2018.

  • Working with Deepwater Wind to complete the nation’s first offshore wind project (Block Island Wind Farm).

  • Overseeing the creation of nearly 4,000 clean energy jobs in the first year of the administration, far exceeding the projected 1,700 new clean energy jobs, bringing the total to nearly 14,000 jobs total. See the 2017 Clean Energy Industry Report to learn more about recent progress on clean energy employment in RI.

  • Issuing an executive order requiring RI to “lead by example” in energy efficiency and clean energy. This involved:
    • Committing State government to obtain 100% renewable energy by 2025.
    • Requiring State agencies to reduce energy use by 10% by 2019.
    • Requiring the State fleet to purchase a minimum of 25% zero-emissions vehicles by 2025.

  • Asking agencies to consider installing renewables, replacing lighting, purchasing energy-efficient appliances, installing EV infrastructure, and reducing vehicle miles traveled.
    • Signed into law a comprehensive package of progressive energy reforms, which:
    • Extended the energy portfolio standard to reach 38.5% by 2035, up from 14.5% previously.
    • Dramatically expanded net metering to allow third-party financing and created a pilot program for community and shared solar.
    • Streamlined the property tax treatment of renewable energy systems, including exempting residential systems from property tax altogether.
    • Extended the state’s renewable energy fund through 2022, which provides a stable and predictable program for homeowners and businesses looking to install renewable energy.
    • Studied the potential to establish a statewide solar permitting process.

  • Investing $35 million into the state’s green economy through a dedicated bond, providing $10 million for bike path construction, $8 million for open space and other state land acquisition, $5 million for brownfields remediation, $3 million for storm water improvements, and additional funding for outdoor recreation and state parks.

  • Creating the RI Infrastructure Bank, a public green bank dedicated to clean energy finance, which:
    • Created the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to allow homeowners and businesses to finance cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable upgrades.
    • Established the Efficient Building Fund, which has provided over $17 million in financing for public buildings over its first year of operation.