DEC: New York on track to achieve zero emissions electricity by 2040


FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, a rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. The Manhattan skyline is at top. A new law signed Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets the nation’s most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and is intended to drive dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for all the state’s electricity to come from renewable, carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Transportation and building heating systems would also run on clean electricity rather than oil and gas. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — On Monday, New York State’s Climate Action Council marked a milestone in the state’s work to achieve the goals of its “nation-leading” climate law; claiming the state is on track to achieve zero emissions electricity by 2040.

Council Co-Chairs Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen Harris, announced that the Council’s seven advisory panels have submitted their recommendations for the development of the draft Scoping Plan, aiming to help guide achievement of the Climate Act’s goals.

These goals include the significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, ramping up renewable energy development and put the State on the path to carbon neutrality economy-wide by 2050.

“Just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Climate Action Council started its critical work, bringing together experts from key sectors of the economy to put forth their best recommendations to help develop the Scoping Plan to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions and meet the State’s ambitious clean energy targets,” stated Commissioner Seggos. “Today marks a key milestone in our work putting New York on a path toward carbon neutrality while ensuring environmental justice for all of our State’s communities.”

“Despite the challenges faced over the last year during a global pandemic, the work of the Climate Action Council and its Advisory Panels and Working Groups did not stop – reflecting the sincere commitment of the many members asked to help develop the plan to guide New York’s transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit all New Yorkers,” added NYSERDA President Harris. “This milestone further demonstrates that New York’s commitment to a focused and orderly transition to a carbon-neutral economy is on track, and I look forward to continuing this dedicated work together as we move closer to achieving our nation-leading clean energy goals.”

According to the DEC, the Climate Action Council i snow progressing according to the schedule included in the Climate Act. The Council will now review the recommendation submitted by the seven advisory panels to develop a draft Scoping Plan that will be released for public comment in 2022.

Additionally, the recommendations from the advisory panels, will now be advanced into an integration analysis process, which will assess strategies under consideration accounting for the emission reductions, job impacts and health impact.

The seven advisory panels that summitted recommendations include Transportation, Agriculture and Forestry, Land Use and Local Government, Power Generation, Energy Efficiency and Housing, Energy Intensive and Trade Exposed Industries, and Waste.

The final Scoping Plan will be posted online and delivered to the New York State Goivernor and Legislature in 2023.

The DEC also listed major milestones and requirements of the Climate Act that state agencies have already met. This includes:

  • DEC and NYSERDA released the Value of Carbon guidance, and supplemental documents, to help State agencies estimate the value of reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in decision-making.
  • Finalizing regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide as the first regulatory requirement of the Climate Act, including establishing limits on the statewide emissions of greenhouse gases 40% by 2030, and 85% by 2050.
  • Adopting new regulations to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)by advancing New York’s portion of the 30% regional cap reduction from 2021 to 2030 to ensure that regional emissions are 65% below the starting cap level by 2030 and aligning New York’s cap with the other participating RGGI states.
  • Finalizing regulations to significantly reduce potent hydrofluorocarbon substances (HFCs), in 2020, and April 2021, proposing new DEC regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
  • Expanding the State’s landmark Clean Energy Standard.

The DEC added that the state is continuing to advance goals towards renewable energy through the Clean Energy Standard, building electrification and clean transportation.

More on the New York State Climate Plan can be found on the DEC website.

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