This story is a staff report from The Paper.

HB 6, the Clean Future Act, which would create requirements and target dates for New Mexico to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reach the state’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, passed the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee today by a vote of 5 to 4. 

Achieving net-zero would effectively offset New Mexico’s atmospheric carbon that causes climate change by safely storing harmful greenhouse gases and phasing out their use. Another hope of the bill is to create a more sustainable economy by diversifying its green initiatives.

“The Clean Future Act will combat climate change and propel New Mexico toward a low-carbon, job-creating economy,” said Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces). “Reaching our goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions will drastically reduce our climate impact while growing New Mexico’s economy and safeguarding our environment.”  

By 2030, statewide greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced to 50% of 2005 levels and net-zero by 2050. Beyond 2050, emissions would be capped at 10% of 2005 levels, which would be net-zero going forward. 

“The people of New Mexico are already feeling the impacts of climate change and they are counting on us to act right away,” Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “With this legislation, we can make significant progress in reducing our emissions and begin to reverse the damage that has already been done.” 

The Clean Future Act would set reporting requirements for businesses and state entities to monitor the progress to net-zero emissions. State agencies would be required to continually explore ways to reduce carbon emissions and annually report on their climate impacts to disproportionately impacted communities. 

HB 6 is sponsored by Rep. Small and Speaker Egolf and Reps. D. Wonda Johnson (D-Church Rock) and Kristina Ortez (D-Taos), along with Senate President Pro Tempore Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), and Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill (D-Silver City). It is also a legislative priority of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.