Maine has met or exceeded most of the goals of its first climate action plan, like heat pump installations and home weatherization targets, but is falling short of hitting its electric vehicle and land conservation targets, according to a report issued Friday by the Maine Climate Council.

The 2020 plan, Maine Won’t Wait, developed specific goals to prepare for climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: install heat pumps, weatherize buildings, conserve land, build a green power grid, create clean energy jobs, increase electric vehicles and foster local climate projects.

Each goal was established to meet Maine’s statutory goals of reducing harmful carbon emissions to 45% of 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050, and becoming carbon neutral by 2045. The state’s last carbon budget indicated Maine has cut emissions by 25% and is 75% of the way to carbon neutrality.

“We’ve met some of our older targets and our trajectory is looking pretty good for reaching at least our near-term goal, but we have a lot of work to do to meet that 80% reduction target,” said Commissioner Melanie Loyzim of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

According to the latest annual progress report – the last one before the council releases its second state climate plan in 2024 – Maine surpassed its 100,000 heat pump goal this year, installing at least 115,492 pumps since 2019. It is now working toward a new goal of 275,000 by 2027.

Heat pump installation is one of the state climate plan’s brightest spots, said Hannah Pingree, the director of the Governor’s Office of Policy, Innovation and the Future. One of the coldest and most rural U.S. states is leading the country in heat pump deployment, Pingree said.


The council also has already exceeded its goal of creating 100 community resiliency partnerships, which are collaborations – 175 and counting – that provide municipalities with grants and technical expertise to enable them to prepare for a warmer and wetter Maine.

The state housing and energy efficiency agencies have weatherized 12,705 homes since 2019, including 3,500 in 2023. At its current 39% year-over-year rate of increase, Maine will have surpassed its goal of weatherizing 17,500 homes with added insulation and air sealing by 2025, a year ahead of schedule.

Both the 2020 climate plan and state law require Maine to create a green power grid that is powered by 80% renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power, by 2030. Currently, 51% of Maine’s energy is “clean,” up from 45% and 48% in 2021 and 2022, the report says.

Electric suppliers are required by Maine law to offer an increasing amount of new renewable energy to consumers. Maine is “on track” to meet its 2030 goal, but will have to invest in more renewable energy projects to meet Gov. Janet Mills’ accelerated goal of 100% clean energy by 2040, the report concludes.

Maine is falling short of its goal of conserving 30% of its lands by 2030, the report says. About 22.2% of Maine lands are currently protected, but the number is increasing so slowly – 21.5% in 2020, 21.7% in 2021, and 22% in 2022 – that hitting that goal looks like a long shot.

“We are moving the needle,” Pingree assured the council. “The next 8%, it’s going to take a lot of folks around the state to make it happen.”


Maine lags furthest behind in its electric vehicle targets. In its 2020 report, the council concluded the state needed to have 219,000 electric vehicles operating in Maine by 2030 to reach the state’s greenhouse gas reduction and carbon neutrality goals.


Mainers now own 12,369 electric vehicles, according to the report, which is an estimated 33% year-over-year increase. Even if that high rate were to hold steady through the end of the decade, however, Maine would still fall short, hitting only 42% of its electric vehicle goal by 2030.

Pingree called the need to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in Maine to be the council’s “heaviest lift.”

“A lot of it’s not about us,” Pingree said. “It’s honestly about national automakers, about supply chains. But by the mid-2020s, many, many more, if not most, vehicles are going to be electrified or hybrid, so a lot of heavy lifting is happening outside the state to help us reach our incredibly aggressive EV goals.”

For the first time, the annual progress report also included statistics to measure how Maine is assisting its most vulnerable populations to prepare for climate change and mitigate the disproportionate impact of the warmer, wetter future on low-income, aged Mainers and children.


For example, only 6.8% of the 115,492 heat pumps installed since 2019, or 7,882 pumps, have been put in the homes of low-income Mainers. Last spring, the council set a goal of 15,000 low-income heat pump installations by 2025, effectively doubling the number of low-income placements.

Only 9% of Maine’s electric vehicle rebates have gone to low or moderate-income residents, data show.

The state is better at getting its weatherization benefits to those least able to afford them. In total, 2,943 Maine low-income housing units have been weatherized since 2019, which represents 23.2% of the total number of homes weatherized by MaineHousing and Efficiency Maine.

The council has vowed to step up outreach in socially vulnerable communities facing high climate risks.

“In these statistics, we see where we really need to dig in and do more work,” Pingree said. “We need to talk about this plan as something we’re trying to sharpen, broaden, and deepen, and ensure that as many people as possible see themselves in this plan and see the opportunities for continued progress.”

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