New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), a law codifying some of the strongest climate pollution reduction requirements in the country.
The new law makes New York, the country’s third largest economy, a leader in the U.S. and the third state this spring to set strong short-term and long-term goals to cut pollution, while requiring development and implementation of regulations to achieve these targets. Given New York’s size and diversity of land use and energy needs, including one of the world’s most vital urban centers and several heavily industrial regions, this latest law builds on the momentum of other states, among them Colorado and Maine, which have put in place comparable overarching pollution reduction requirements.
“This is a bold move. New York is cutting climate pollution, making the air cleaner, and protecting vulnerable communities,” said Mary Barber, Director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org). “These targets to reduce emissions are among the best in the country and will propel progress toward cutting climate pollution nationwide. By developing a clear timeline for implementing these short and long term targets, New York is taking a significant step toward a 100% clean economy by 2050.”
The new law commits New York to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 85% below 1990 levels by 2050—while setting a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. It also requires that New York’s power sector eliminate carbon pollution by 2040, recognizing that significant near-term reductions of pollutants in the power sector and accelerated deployment of clean energy technologies are critical to achieving economy wide emissions reductions at a level consistent with science.
Similar to the Colorado law, the CLCPA also calls for the Department of Environmental Conservation to identify and prioritize measures to maximize reductions of conventional air pollutants in disadvantaged communities, in addition to greenhouse gases, when developing regulations to implement statewide mandated targets.