ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a series of new initiatives aimed to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, expand energy financing, drive grid modernization and deployment of renewable energy, improve the energy efficiency of appliances, and increase resilience to climate change.
Cuomo’s announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the U.S. from the Paris Agreement.
“New York’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is stronger than ever, as we continue to strengthen the U.S. Climate Alliance global fight against climate change,” Governor Cuomo said.“Despite the federal government’s environmental inaction, New York and the coalition of states will lead by example with unprecedented investments in renewable energy, cutting harmful emissions, all while creating a clean energy economy.”
- Reducing Super Pollutants: U.S. Climate Alliance states today announce their commitment to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) and are issuing a challenge for others to follow their lead. The U.S. Climate Alliance plans to release an action plan at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018 to drive down these highly-polluting emissions by phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), capturing and putting waste methane to work, and addressing super emitters.
- Mobilizing Financing for Climate Projects: U.S. Climate Alliance states are collaborating on a Green Banking Initiative to expand sustainable infrastructure financing opportunities and help advance new Green Banks. As a part of this initiative, NY Green Bank is raising at least $1 billion from the private sector to deploy nationally as well as providing resources and capacity that can be leveraged by newly-established Green Banks.
- Grid Modernization: U.S ClimateAlliance states are working together on a Grid Modernization Initiative to expand the adoption of innovative approaches to utility planning such as New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, that can meet electricity demand while avoiding build-out of traditional electric transmission and distribution infrastructure. These “non-wires alternatives” are driving deployment of distributed clean energy resources and reducing emissions while saving customers billions of dollars.
- Renewable Energy: States are collaborating on a Solar Soft Costs Initiative to reduce the costs of solar projects. Building on best practices pioneered by U.S. Climate Alliance states, such as REV, the initiative is developing implementation resources for states and local governments to drive down the non-hardware “soft costs” of solar. These steps will lead to better economics for customers and greater solar deployment, while also helping to offset the impact of the solar tariffs established by the federal government in January 2018.
- Appliance Efficiency Standards: States are working together to advance energy efficiency standards for consumer products and appliances to save Americans billions in energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions. States are stepping up in response to the federal government stalling its own appliance standards activity
- Building Resilient Communities and Infrastructure: The U.S. Climate Alliance, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the National Council on Science and the Environment, is working to build greater resiliency of its communities, including by fundamentally changing the way infrastructure is designed and procured. U.S. Climate Alliance states are analyzing their state’s infrastructure risks now and in the future from vulnerability to floods, wildfire, and drought to inform mitigation and adaptation planning.
- Increasing Carbon Storage in our Landscapes: U.S. Climate Alliance states are pursuing opportunities to increase carbon storage in forests, farms, and ecosystems, and are launching a new initiative to identify best practices for land conservation, management and restoration to develop a carbon storage policy framework for implementation. This work is supported through a strategic partnership with The Nature Conservancy, American Forests, World Resources Institute, American Farmland Trust, the Trust for Public Land, Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust.
- Deploying Clean Transportation: U.S. Climate Alliance states are collaborating on an initiative to accelerate deployment of zero-emissions vehicles, expand and improve mass transit and active transportation choices, and implement other measures for moving towards zero-emission vehicle miles travelled.
Sixteen states and Puerto Rico continue to be on track to collectively meet their share of the U.S. climate target to reduce emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2025. U.S. Climate Alliance states are reducing emissions more rapidly than the rest of the country while expanding per capita economic output twice as fast. Alliance states are also home to 1.6 million clean energy jobs, nearly half of the U.S. total.
New York’s Climate Leadership
In the past year alone, New York State has taken some of the largest strides on clean energy and climate in state history. Governor Cuomo’s 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda aims to reduce emissions from existing fossil fuel power plants and advancing clean energy technologies through unprecedented investments in offshore wind, solar, energy storage, and energy efficiency, while spurring market development and creating jobs across the state. The Governor’s nation-leading track record of climate accomplishments includes:
- Clean Energy Standard: Created the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history in 2016, requiring that 50 percent of electricity in New York come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030. The Clean Energy Standard is driving unprecedented investment in renewable energy including $1.4 billion for 26 large-scale projects in March 2018.
- Offshore Wind: Issued the nation’s most comprehensive master plan for offshore wind in 2018, including an unprecedented commitment to develop up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, enough to power 1.2 million New York households. The plan includes procuring 800 megawatts of offshore wind across two solicitations in 2018 and 2019.
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Led Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states to a 2017 agreement to reduce the cap on power plant emissions an additional 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030.
- NY Green Bank: Created the nation’s largest Green Bank, which has driven $1.6 billion in public and private investment in clean energy projects across New York State since its launch in 2014. Based on this success, the Green Bank is now raising at least an additional $1 billion in private sector funds to “go national.”
- Energy Storage: Established in the 2018 State of the State an energy storage target of 1,500 megawatts by 2025 to help integrate renewable energy into the electric grid.
- Energy Efficiency: Announced on Earth Day 2018 an ambitious new energy efficiency target to reduce energy consumption equivalent to 1.8 million New York households by 2025.
- Coal Free by 2020: Announced in May 2018 new proposed limits for carbon dioxide emissions which will achieve the Governor’s goal to end the use of coal in New York State power plants by 2020.