It’s Time for Maine to Deliver on Its Climate Law 

CLF, Maine Youth Action, and Sierra Club are suing the State of Maine for breaking its 2019 Climate Law.

We deserve a commitment to slowing climate change – and real action to prove that commitment. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Problem 

Climate change isn’t waiting. Every day we continue to burn outdated fossil fuels to power our lives, we see the real-world impacts of climate-damaging emissions. Indeed, here in Maine, we experienced those impacts first-hand in the devastating storms that wreaked havoc this past winter. Storms that downed power lines, submerged roads, destroyed wharves and piers, and left families shivering in the dark for days. 

Where Things Stand 

Despite the painful and expensive realities of climate change, Maine’s government has failed to develop and implement the solutions necessary to slash carbon pollution overheating our state and our planet. This failure flies in the face of the state’s 2019 law mandating drastic cuts to emissions. The law explicitly tasks the Maine Department of Environmental Protection with adopting regulations that will cut emissions almost completely by 2050. But the Department hasn’t done much to get us there. 

The state’s own reports highlight cars and trucks that run on gas or diesel as the single greatest contributor of climate-warming emissions. Yet regulators haven’t adopted a single policy to cut emissions from them. 

In fact, Maine decision-makers recently rejected standards that would have required automakers to supply an increasing amount of new clean cars and trucks every year. That tactic would slash air pollution, cut carbon, and reduce the cost of owning and operating vehicles. At the Direction of Governor Mills, the Maine Clean Transportation Roadmap produced by the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future determined these standards as critical to meeting the mandates of the climate law.  

That’s Why CLF and Our Partners Filed Suit 

While the Mills administration has taken some steps to reduce the state’s carbon pollution, it has yet to come close to meeting the full scope of its legal obligations under the law. That means that the government is falling short of its commitment to protect our families and businesses from the worsening impacts of climate change. We deserve better. It’s time to remind our regulators and legislators that the administration’s climate slogan, “Maine Won’t Wait,” must hold meaning and truth. 

Our lawsuit, in partnership with Maine Youth Action and Sierra Club, aims to keep state regulators and legislators focused on their legal obligations to meet science-driven climate mandates. Mainers like you and me are tired of watching storms get bigger and more powerful. And we’re worried about the world our loved ones will grow up in.  

Next Steps 

Now that we have filed the lawsuit with the Superior Court, the next step will be for the Court to set a timeline and process for the case. We’ll need your help showing Maine’s decision-makers that commitment to climate action is crucial to our families and businesses. So, sign up for our email to be the first to know when and how you can use your voice to support this suit. 

We look forward to your help in keeping climate top-of-mind in Maine.

Before you go... CLF is working every day to create real, systemic change for New England’s environment. And we can’t solve these big problems without people like you. Will you be a part of this movement by considering a contribution today? If everyone reading our blog gave just $10, we’d have enough money to fund our legal teams for the next year.