To fight climate change and develop a more environmentally sustainable island, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló recently announced that the U.S. territory will rely only on renewable energy by 2050.

This renewable energy goal is part of the Puerto Rico Pledge for Climate Change, a historic initiative that seeks to transform the island’s outdated power grid into a resilient, modern energy network.

“Puerto Rico is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to its geographical location,” Rosselló says. “Today, the number of days at or above 90-degree heat is 104, a massive increase of 395 percent. Climate change is not only real, it is the most important issue of our generation and it’s our responsibility to tackle it.”

Along with the 2050 goal of relying on 100 percent renewable energy, the governor also pledged to reduce the territory’s carbon footprint by 50 percent within the next five years. Such a goal would be the most ambitious of any U.S. state government.

As a benchmark, the initiative also calls on the territory to rely on renewables for 40 percent of its energy use by 2023. The plan also includes planting 500,000 trees within five years, increase climate change education, require new housing to be more resilient, create a group to monitor the territory’s progress toward goals, and immediately take measures to stop erosion of beaches, reefs and aquifers.

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