New York State is the fourth most populous state in the US. At the end of June 2019, climate change legislation (lauded as the most comprehensive in the nation) was passed by both Assembly & Senate.
In passing this bold climate legislation, New York followed in the footsteps of Maine, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, California, and New Jersey, all of which had already passed substantive clean energy policies. (Hawaii has had its 100% renewables target in place since 2015.)
Signed by Governor Cuomo on July 18, 2019, The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) imagines solar panels on every roof; parking meters that double as car chargers; wind turbines towering above farm fields and ocean waves and calls for:
- 70% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030
- 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040
- A net-zero carbon economy by 2050
- Prioritizing investments in renewable energy sources.
- This includes 9,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035, 6,000 MW of solar energy by 2025, and 3,000MW of energy storage capacity by 2030 — a 23% increase in energy efficiency
- Since transportation makes up a third of the state’s emissions it is likely the state will call for an expansion of mass transit and an accelerated shift to electric vehicles, which are already promoted with rebates and investments in charging infrastructure.
Cities, towns and municipalities are equally motivated and, for those, we have made separate pages: New York City, the largest city in America, and two fairly small towns, East Hampton and Southhampton, which made early commitments (in 2014 and 2017 respectively). They are part of Sierra Club’s list of cities committed to 100% Renewable Energy.
Recognizing that New York’s transportation sector is responsible for more of the State’s greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector, the New York’s Public Service Commission, in July 2020, authorized utilities to fund a massive EV infrastructure program to incentivize charging stations with the intention of supporting New York’s goal of deploying 850,000 Zero EmissionVehicles by 2025.
New York is one of twenty five states committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.