The NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act comes of age

By STEPHEN STUART
Posted 1/19/22

Global climate leadership: Starting at home

New York State is poised to become a global model for climate leadership. With the release of the New York State Climate Action Council’s Draft …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act comes of age

Posted

Global climate leadership: Starting at home

New York State is poised to become a global model for climate leadership. With the release of the New York State Climate Action Council’s Draft Scoping Plan (DSP), the state is seeking input on the steps that it must take to meet its commitment to action in addressing climate change.

The plan is the implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. See sidebar.

The climate act requires New York State to achieve an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the economy by 2050. The plan also calls for the delivery of 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040 through solar, wind and imported hydro. It also calls for the reduction of end-use energy by 185 trillion BTUs. End-use energy includes energy consumption in four sectors: residential, commercial, industrial and transportation.

The most significant element found in the DSP is the requirement to consider health outcomes across all sectors. What this means is that health becomes a measurable commodity when considering projects. Additionally, the plan calls for Just Transition principles as guidelines to spearhead the process of transition. Stakeholder-engaged transition planning, preservation of culture and tradition, repairing structural inequalities, redevelopment of the industrial community, development of a robust in-state low-carbon energy manufacturing supply chain, and restoration of natural and working lands are the proposed principles.

With this plan, the state is looking to build resilience and community engagement and to level out structural inequities as it moves toward reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a transition to a net-zero carbon future.

What needs to change?

The scoping plan targets transportation, buildings, electricity, industry, agriculture and forestry and waste management as the major causes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It proposes to use innovation and well-thought-out actions to implement critical solutions that could avoid reaching the tipping point of irreversible effects of climate change. (Some would argue that we are already past that point.)

And it will be done how?

Several key strategies are fundamental to achieving the GHG emission limits and net-zero GHG  emissions:

  • Energy efficiency measures that achieve the Climate Act energy-efficiency goal
  • Transition from fossil gas to electrification in buildings
  • Zero-emissions electricity  
  • Transportation electrification  
  • Enhancement of transit, smart growth, and reduced vehicle miles traveled
  • A transition to low-global-warming potential refrigerants and enhanced refrigerant management
  • Maximizing carbon sequestration in New York’s lands and forests
  • Reducing fugitive methane emissions mitigation across the waste, agriculture and energy sectors
  • Employing a diverse portfolio of solutions in the industry, including efficiency, electrification, and limited and strategic use of low-carbon fuels and carbon capture technologies for certain industrial applications.

A copy of the scoping plan can be found at https://climate.ny.gov/Our-Climate-Act/Draft-Scoping-Plan. Comments will be accepted until May 2022.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here