New York releases climate plan, to cut emissions by 80%

New York has released its State Climate Action Plan which highlights how the state plans to rebuild its economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the plan, New York hopes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. The state will refocus its manufacturing infrastructure to support more clean energy policies as well as modernizing the state power supply, building codes and agriculture through the use of clean technology.

“The global race for the clean energy economy is on. We can buy solutions to our energy and environmental challenges from others. Or we can take the initiative and develop clean energy industries right here in New York State,” Governor Paterson said. “We must make the investment in our future prosperity now by implementing the strategies and policies that will enable us to meet our aggressive clean energy and environmental goals. By reinventing our State’s economy to lead in the global race toward energy independence, we can develop clean energy technologies right here in New York. Our present investments will ensure that the Empire State leads the way in utilizing clean, renewable energy as an engine for economic growth.”

The policy comes as a result of an Executive Order from the Governor in 2009 which established the greenhouse gas reduction goal and also established a Climate Action Council which is tasked with achieving the goal. State agencies have also been working through a process since 2009 to bring together more than 100 technical experts as well as the public to help create and facilitate an action plan.

Key recommendations of the plan include:

  • Accelerating the development of zero- or low-carbon sources of power, reducing reliance on petroleum and upgrading the power grid to increase the use of renewable energy.
  • Enhancing construction codes, appliance standards and consumer incentives to ensure construction of the most energy efficient, environmentally-beneficial buildings.
  • Targeting research and development funds toward helping New York businesses develop low-carbon energy technologies while addressing State energy and infrastructure needs.

In 2011, the Climate Action Council will further refine these preliminary ideas, finalize cost information and economic potentials, analyze the macroeconomic impacts of the policies, and outline a strategy for implementation.

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