Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a announcing September 19-25, 2022 as Climate Week in New York State. The announcement reaffirms New York’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, make communities more resilient, and drive action to tackle climate change and create new opportunities for all New Yorkers. Climate Week is observed in New York City each year, with this year marking the 14th year as the biggest global event of its kind.
“New York is implementing the nation’s most ambitious plan to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are affecting our climate and advancing a clean energy economy to reach our aggressive targets as part of the Climate Act,” Governor Hochul said. “Our transformative investments in renewable and sustainable projects and infrastructure are ensuring that New York is at the forefront of climate action with a focus on environmental justice to benefit all New Yorkers for years to come.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nine years from 2013 through 2021 rank among the 10 warmest years on record, with 2021 being the sixth-warmest year on record. Severe storms and flooding, extreme heat, drought, and air pollution have threatened New Yorkers’ health and quality of life, and our infrastructure continues to be threatened by climate-related hazards including sea level rise, coastal flooding, and intense precipitation events.
In 2019, New York State enacted the nation-leading Climate
New York State is putting environmental justice front and center with a commitment to provide disadvantaged communities with 35 percent, with a goal of at least 40 percent, of overall benefits from investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. The CLCPA also establishes the most aggressive clean energy agenda in the nation, requiring 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030, and 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Co-Chair of the State Climate Action Council Basil Seggos said, “New York State is taking bold action to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health and quality of life of New Yorkers, and protect the environment. The work of the Climate Action Council is helping to ensure we meet our aggressive climate targets outlined in the Climate Act and prioritize disadvantaged communities that have been historically overburdened by climate change. This Climate Week, we join with our local, state and federal partners in advancing our collective goals for a cleaner, brighter future.”
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, “This Climate Week is a reminder that New York is uniquely poised under Governor Hochul’s leadership to capitalize on this moment and address climate challenges head-on for the benefit of all New Yorkers. NYSERDA looks forward to continuing its work to reduce the state’s carbon footprint, make our communities more resilient, and through the Climate Action Council’s thoughtful planning and collaboration, create new opportunities for future generations as we work together to achieve our nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “It’s important to take this moment during Climate Week to recognize the collaborative state effort to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Under Governor Hochul, New York State is redoubling its efforts to decarbonize the economy through investments in transmission resiliency, renewable generation, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency measures.”
New York State has more than 120 solar, land-based wind, and offshore wind projects under development across the State that will be capable of providing over 66 percent of New York’s electricity with renewable sources once completed. The State is also investing in the increased resilience and reliability of the transmission system through the development of numerous high-impact projects that will enable the efficient transfer of renewable power throughout the State.
As a leader in the transition to clean and renewable energy, New York State is investing in innovative technologies that are creating new economic opportunities across the State, including programs like NY-Sun, ReCharge NY, NY Green Bank, as well as programs to assist communities to implement locally-based climate action, including the statewide community air monitoring initiative, Climate Smart Communities program, Clean Energy Hubs, BuildSmart2025, Smart Street Lighting NY, Evolve NY, and Charge NY.
New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments.
Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.