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June 25, 2019

New York Passes “Most Aggressive Climate Change Program in the United States of America, Period”

New York passed last week legislation to cut its planet-warming emissions 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and offset the remaining 15 percent through carbon-dioxide removal measures.

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires the state to get 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydropower by 2030 and move entirely to carbon-free power a decade later. New York currently produces about 60 percent from carbon-free sources. To reach the targets, the state plans to build large-scale offshore wind farms, increase the use of rooftop solar, and invest in battery storage facilities.

“I think climate change is the issue of our lifetime, frankly,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a recent radio interview discussing the legislation, which he called “the most aggressive climate change program in the United States of America, period.”

Cutting emissions will be a difficult–and expensive–task. According to state records, New York reduced emissions by only 8 percent between 1990 and 2015. Transportation makes up about one-third of the state’s emissions, and homes and commercial buildings account for another 25 percent.

A 22-person Climate Action Council made up of top state officials will determine how to implement the plan. The Council will issue recommendations within two years, at which point state agencies will issue rules to meet the standards laid out in the bill. 

New York is the sixth state to pass legislation requiring 100 percent carbon-free electricity, joining California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington.

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


June 25, 2019



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