In September 2007, Governor Timothy M. Kaine released the Virginia Energy Plan, an implementation document designed to demonstrate how the General Assembly-enacted state energy policy (SB-262; Code of Virginia § 67-100) could be executed. Included in the Virginia Energy Plan was the recommendation that the Governor create a commission to address climate change and its possible impacts on Virginia.
Governor Kaine responded by issuing Executive Order 59 (2007), establishing the “Governor’s Commission on Climate Change.” E.O.59 charged the Commission to create a Climate Change Action Plan that would do the following:
- Inventory the amount of and contributors to Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and projections through 2025;
- Evaluate expected impacts of climate change on Virginia’s natural resources, the health of its citizens, and the economy, including the industries of agriculture, forestry, tourism, and insurance;
- Identify what Virginia needs to do to prepare for the likely consequences of climate change;
- Identify the actions (beyond those identified in the Energy Plan) that need to be taken to achieve the 30% reduction goal; and
- Identify climate change approaches being pursued by other states, regions, and the federal government.
The Commission was comprised of more than 40 citizens of the Commonwealth, including scientists, economists, environmental advocates, and representatives from the energy, transportation, building, and manufacturing sectors. The Commission also included local government representatives and state lawmakers.