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Environmental Groups Applaud State Legislature for Passing Landmark Climate Protection Measures

Advocates Urge Governor Cuomo to Sign Historic Legislation into Law

Albany, NY

Environmental groups, including American Farmland Trust, Audubon New York, Citizens Campaigns for the Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, New York League of Conservation Voters, and Riverkeeper, released the following statement following the passage of landmark climate protection measures by the New York State Assembly today.

“This historic legislation – the nation’s strongest and most aggressive to combat climate change – positions New York to drastically cut pollution across economic sectors, puts us on a path to net zero emissions, codifies the state’s ambitious clean energy goals, and helps to ensure an equitable transition to a low-carbon future.

“We thank the Legislative leadership, and especially the two champions of this bill and Environmental Committee Chairs, Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright, for working tirelessly to see this legislation become a reality in 2019. Governor Andrew Cuomo should waste no time and sign this legislation into law immediately.

“This is a precedent-setting action that shows New York can once again lead the nation on aggressively combating climate change, an example which we believe other states will soon follow.”

Provisions of the legislation (S6599/A8429) include:

  • Setting an economy-wide net zero emissions goal
  • Codifying the following emissions reduction and renewable energy goals: 
    • 85 percent economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2050
    • 70 percent renewable energy by 2030
    • 100 percent emissions-free power by 2040
    • 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035
    • 6,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2025
    • 23 percent increase in energy efficiency
  • Creating a 22-member Climate Action Council to create a scoping plan of recommendations to achieve the above goals and transform New York’s economy
  • Directing benefits of clean energy program spending to frontline communities that have been historically burdened by pollution and/or are at high risk from the effects of climate change
  • Creating a Climate Justice Working Group that includes representatives from environmental justice communities and several state agencies
  • Allowing for strictly defined offsets to reduce pollution beyond 85 percent by 2050, with guidelines that ensure the projects create permanent and verifiable pollution reductions, benefit New York directly, and do no harm to overburdened communities 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.