Gov. Pritzker to Tout Illinois' Climate Leadership and Economic Development Opportunities on International Trip
SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker will travel to London and Glasgow to tout Illinois' climate leadership and economic development opportunities from November 2 to November 9, 2021.
"Illinois is leading the Midwest on climate action and building a green energy economy and I am eager to tout our success abroad," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Our historic clean energy legislation, talented workforce, and role as a transportation hub for the nation makes our state a top destination for international companies looking to do business in the U.S. I look forward to visiting London and Glasgow to encourage companies to come to Illinois and promote the international action needed to combat the climate crisis."
The Governor and top staff will arrive in London, England on Nov. 2 and spend two days meeting with business leaders, discussing Illinois' economic development opportunities and prospects for investment within our burgeoning green economy.
On Nov. 5, the Illinois mission led by Gov. Pritzker will attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. The Governor will share how Illinois is becoming the leading state in the Midwest on climate action and clean energy. He'll also urge other governments, business leaders, and organizations to take further action to combat the climate crisis.
More information on specific events will follow.
Gov. Pritzker has been laser focused on economic development from day one. In his first legislative session, the Governor and the General Assembly passed a historic $45 billion capital plan to rebuild Illinois roads, bridges, universities, community colleges, and communities. Rebuild Illinois included a $1 billion investment in research centers for excellence housed at Discovery Partners Institute and more than $400 million into the largest high speed internet expansion effort in Illinois history.
In addition, the Governor and state legislature have prioritized job-creating programs that have fueled Illinois' economy, including:
• Attracting $5 billion in new data centers to Illinois with targeted tax incentives, creating new, high-paying tech and construction jobs.
• Creating a business apprenticeship tax credit, encouraging job growth and workforce development.
• Extending the film industry tax credit, creating and supporting thousands of entertainment industry jobs.
• Strengthening the Illinois Works Jobs Program by investing $25 million for community-based organizations to recruit diverse apprentices to work on the State's historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program.
• Creating incentives for job creation on new construction and renovation projects in underserved communities.
• Establishing annual reporting on corporate board diversity for public companies to encourage greater representation.
• Investing $15 million in two downstate Manufacturing Training Academies: an electric vehicle jobs partnership with Rivian at Heartland Community College in Normal and an Advanced Manufacturing Center at Southwestern Illinois College.
• Positioning Illinois to be the best state in the nation to drive and manufacture an electric vehicle by beginning to offer electric vehicle rebates to consumers and companies.
Just days after entering office in January 2019, Gov. Pritzker joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, becoming the 18th governor to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement and commit to reducing state's carbon footprint. In 2021, Gov. Pritzker proposed and negotiated a comprehensive clean energy bill that the General Assembly passed. He promptly signed this transformative legislation, making Illinois a national leader on climate action and the first state in the Midwest to pass a law phasing out fossil fuels.
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act includes the following provisions:
• Decarbonization: Phases out coal and natural gas by requiring emissions reductions - mandating zero emissions for private coal by 2030 and municipal coal and natural gas by 2045.
• Renewable energy and labor standards: Puts Illinois on the path to 100% clean energy by 2050, doubles the state's investment in renewable energy, and enacts strong labor standards on renewable energy projects.
• Workforce development and just transition: Creates multiple new workforce development programs to prepare workers and support communities as the state transitions to a clean energy economy.
• Equity: Makes equitable investments in Illinois' new clean energy economy and advances environmental justice.
• Consumer protections: Protects consumers by eliminating customer deposits and late fees for low-income residents and online payment fees for all customers.
• Ethics and accountability: Creates the strongest-ever ethics requirements and oversight for public utilities, state officials and state employees.
• Transportation: Puts one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, provides a $4,000 electric vehicle rebate for consumers, and helps fund a statewide charging network.
• Energy efficiency: Extends energy efficiency goals until 2040 and establishes a new program to reduce energy usage and phase out carbon in public schools.
• Fair ratemaking: Ends unfair formula rates and transitions to a new performance-based system with heightened scrutiny by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
More information on the landmark law is available here.