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SANTA FE—Fresh off her reelection victory, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is leaving New Mexico on Friday to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt.
The governor, who also traveled to Scotland for last year’s conference, is scheduled to participate in several panel discussions while in Egypt, including events with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
During last year’s conference, Lujan Grisham received praise from President Joe Biden’s top climate adviser, who said proposed methane emission rules announced by the federal Environmental Protection Agency were based on similar greenhouse gas rules enacted in New Mexico.
Lujan Grisham’s administration has also pushed to protect at least 30% of New Mexico’s lands and waters by 2030.
However, the governor still faces a balancing act back home in New Mexico, which recently passed North Dakota to become the nation’s second-highest oil-producing state.
In recent years, some youthful advocates for addressing climate change have blasted Lujan Grisham for not moving fast enough to limit drilling, and some fossil fuel advocates have accused her of hypocrisy for traveling abroad to climate change conferences by airplane.
This year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, is a two-week event that already started.
Lujan Grisham will attend only the second week of the event, since she was locked in a hard-fought reelection campaign against Republican Mark Ronchetti.
Lujan Grisham ultimately won the race by a six-point margin, getting about 52% of the votes cast. She will begin her second four-year term as governor in January.
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Meanwhile, the governor will lead a New Mexico delegation to the climate change conference that will also include Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst and others, according to the Governor’s Office.
A Lujan Grisham spokeswoman said the delegation’s travel expenses will be covered by the Climate Registry and the Climate Action Reserve, which are both California-based nonprofit groups that support reducing greenhouse gas emissions.