North Carolina’s Goal of Slashing Greenhouse Gases Faces Political Reality Test

The federal government is in retreat, but Gov. Roy Cooper and local cities are starting to act on climate change.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill in October 2018, committing his state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—With the federal government’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, state and local governments in North Carolina have set their own ambitious goals for addressing climate change. 

Caught off Guard

Now, they’re puzzling over how to carry out the big changes needed to reach those goals—such as switching to electric vehicles and shifting to more renewable energy.

Gov. Roy Cooper and 21 cities and counties in North Carolina—including Charlotte and Raleigh—have set clean energy goals. 

At least for now, however, North Carolina is mostly gathering data and holding climate discussions, WFAE found as part of a regional collaboration with InsideClimate News called “Caught Off Guard: Southeast Struggles with Climate Change.”


This story was published as part of a collaborative project organized by InsideClimate News involving nine newsrooms across seven states. The project was led by Louisville, Ky.-based James Bruggers of InsideClimate News, who leads the Southeast regional hub of ICN’s Environmental Reporting Network