The impacts of climate change can no longer be ignored. Climate change is affecting New York’s economic security, safety, and public health. Increasing extreme weather events place people in danger, cost billions in lost production and revenue, and damage or destroy property and communities. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions continue to contribute to our State’s poor air quality, which makes our children sick and shortens the lives of seniors. The call for climate action knows no regional boundaries, political affiliations, age, race and ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status.
The New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act establishes aggressive legally binding targets to move New York’s economy off fossil fuels; thereby significantly reducing climate pollution that harms our public health, environment, and economy. The bill not only codifies New York’s strong climate and clean energy goals – it also establishes a blueprint for doing so equitably across all sectors of the economy.
Enacting the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act will propel New York as a true global leader on climate action, while providing a framework for ensuring vulnerable and disadvantaged communities are supported in an equitable and just transition.
This bill adds a new Article 75, Climate Change, to the Environmental Conservation Law, establishing a statewide greenhouse gas emission limit of 60% of 1990 emissions by 2030 and 15% of 1990 levels by 2050. The bill establishes a New York State Climate Action Council, co-chaired by DEC and the New York state energy research and development authority (NYSERDA). The Council is required to develop, with input from advisory panels and in consultation with the newly created climate justice working group, a climate action plan detailing measures the state will implement to attain greenhouse gas emission targets. Under this bill, the DEC must promulgate regulations to achieve statewide greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The bill amends Section 54-1523 of the Environmental Conservation Law to make particular technologies eligible in the Environmental Protection Fund; amends the Public Service Law to mandate that 70% of the electricity consumed in New York State come from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% zero emission sources by 2040. Further, it requires the DEC to publish a study about barriers to access various services and resources. Finally, the bill requires the consideration of climate and equity goals in all state government permitting and funding decisions.