Illinois energy bill charts critical path to decarbonization, emphasizes equity
BOSTON — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker will sign into law a sweeping energy bill that will require the decarbonization of the state’s power sector by 2045, “a tremendous victory for Illinois, and for U.S. and global efforts to combat climate change and prioritize equity in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Andrew Place, State Energy and Climate Policy Director at Clean Air Task Force.
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2409) aims to make Illinois the first Midwestern state to require a zero-carbon power sector, joining 11 other states. The comprehensive bill expands and preserves carbon-free energy, decreases carbon pollution, and invests in the communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and by the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“States across the U.S. are stepping up and showing ambition in the face of the climate crisis, reducing their emissions while ushering in a new era of prosperity, jobs, and economic development. Illinois has taken an important step down the path toward net-zero emissions, and especially encouraging is the way the state plans to do it. The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act will increase economic opportunities in clean energy for disadvantaged communities, help the workers and communities hardest hit by the transition away from high-emissions energy sources, and create much needed jobs in the regions of the state that need them most.”
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act also underscores the need for an expanded suite of technologies to fully decarbonize the energy system, including provisions to support existing nuclear power plants — which provide critically needed clean, firm power to the Illinois power grid — as well as carbon capture — which the IPCC and IEA have featured as a crucial technology in decarbonizing difficult-to-electrify sectors.
The Act is also significant for its focus on transmission, which must be expanded to connect the state’s electricity grid to the plentiful wind power that’s being generated across the Midwest.
“In signing the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act into law today,” said Place, “Illinois is showing that large states that generate and consume high levels of energy can and must lead the way into the low-carbon future, and can and must do it in a way that ensures a just transition. Every state should pay close attention and draw lessons for their own efforts to bring their state’s energy sector and broader economy into a decarbonizing 21st century.”
Troy Shaheen, Communications Director, U.S., [email protected], +1 845-750-1189
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a non-profit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. We work towards these objectives through research and analysis, public advocacy leadership, and partnership with the private sector. With nearly 25 years of nationally and internationally recognized expertise on clean air policy and regulations and a fierce commitment to fully exploring all potential solutions. CATF is headquartered in Boston, with staff working virtually around the U.S. and abroad.