Louisiana: Tool to Evaluate Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies

Modeling Tool to Evaluate Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies Now Available to the Public

Baton Rouge,  LA (STL.News) Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force will benefit from a newly released tool designed to estimate and evaluate the effectiveness of proposed greenhouse gas mitigation policies for achieving Louisiana’s climate goals.

The Louisiana Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) is a state-of-the-art modeling tool developed by Energy Innovation, LLC in collaboration with the Water Institute of the Gulf.  It is a free, open-source, peer-reviewed model that allows users to estimate climate and energy policy impacts through 2050 and consider how policies interact with each other.  EPS models have also been developed for more than a dozen countries and several states including California, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia.

“This modeling tool adds to the sound data and science that the Task Force is using to evaluate the potential impact of greenhouse gas reduction policies,” said Gov. Edwards.  “It is also important that the public has access to the same tools as the decision makers so that they too can appreciate the difficult, necessary, and transformational decisions the Task Force is grappling with.”

The Louisiana EPS and its modeling will be used by the Governor’s Climate Initiatives Task Force to evaluate the most effective recommendations for achieving Louisiana’s climate goals while expanding the economy and protecting Louisianans from the worst impacts of climate change.  The EPS was used to help evaluate the Draft Climate Strategy and Action Portfolio released by the Task Force in August and those results informed the deliberations of the Task Force’s meeting on October 26.  EPS analysis showed that the Draft Portfolio produced a net gain of 165,000 jobs by 2050, reduced premature deaths by 1,800 each year, and avoided 55,000 asthma attacks per year while reducing Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions by 169 million metric tons.

“The Louisiana EPS has already provided valuable insights to the planning team about how to adjust the draft Climate Strategy and Action Portfolio for its next iteration and provided a strong foundation for the Task Force to understand potential consequences, tradeoffs, and priorities they have moving forward,” said Allison DeJong, planner and policy researcher at The Water Institute of the Gulf.

The EPS tool is now also available to the public allowing any user to select greenhouse gas reduction policies and determine their impacts within a tool built to reflect Louisiana’s context and data.  Also available today is the 2021 Louisiana Greenhouse Gas Inventory Update, prepared by the LSU Center for Energy Studies.  This inventory utilizes the EPS State Inventory Tool and offers detailed information across all emissions sectors.  Together the EPS tool and the Inventory show the magnitude of the state’s emissions challenges alongside the numerous opportunities that exist to drive down statewide emissions under different scenarios.

“We created this technology-neutral tool to empower policymakers across the U.S. to make informed choices about energy policy,” said Energy Innovation’s Senior Director of Energy Policy Design, Robbie Orvis.  “What the modeling projects for Louisiana is what we are already seeing play out in other states and countries – new investments in clean energy and more efficient industrial processes not only grow the economy and create jobs, but protect public health.”