NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans City Council voted today to adopt regulations that will enact the Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard (RCPS), establishing the framework by which the city’s electric utility must transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and a zero-carbon portfolio by 2050. This historic and climate-friendly action resulted from over two years of engagement with the City Council and Entergy New Orleans by the Energy Future New Orleans (EFNO) coalition.
“Today’s action by the City Council demonstrates the clear and unambiguous intent of the City of New Orleans to transition Entergy New Orleans to a more climate-conscious future,” said Brent Newman, senior policy director for Audubon Delta, formerly Audubon Louisiana, a member of EFNO. “Our coalition fought hard for a set of regulations that will meaningfully move our city toward a cleaner, more sustainable, and more resilient New Orleans.”
Last April, the City Council approved the adoption of a net-zero carbon standard, establishing a timetable for stakeholders to come together to develop detailed regulations that would implement the RCPS. The Utility Committee held a public hearing of the updated and amended regulations, incorporating actionable policies and a pragmatic look at zero-carbon transition, informed greatly by the efforts of Audubon Delta and the EFNO coalition.
EFNO approached the RCPS development from climate action and equity perspectives, with some New Orleanians paying as much as 23 percent of their income on bills in a coastal city on the front lines for the impacts of climate change. Recent challenges brought on by extreme weather events, increasing electric bills, and power failures motivated the council to hold the utility accountable, with an eye towards a more efficient and climate-friendly operation.
“The RCPS is a big first step toward addressing a host of challenges New Orleanians face,” said Newman. “We need less expensive, climate-friendly energy resources that address energy poverty and provide significant local economic development opportunities. Audubon Delta will continue to engage with our City Council and Entergy to push for equitable energy policies, efficiency in resource planning, and preserving a brighter future for birds and people.”