Governor Paterson Releases Climate Action Plan
ALBANY, NY (11/09/2010)(readMedia)-- Governor David A. Paterson today released the New York State Climate Action Plan, which offers a path to rebuild New York's economy and create tens of thousands of jobs by providing a blueprint for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. By refocusing New York's manufacturing infrastructure to support clean energy policies, the State could reach both economic and environmental goals simultaneously. The Governor's plan details how New York can modernize and transform the State power supply, building codes and agriculture through utilizing clean energy and 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 Climate Action Plan recommends, among other actions:
• 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.
• Encouraging transportation efficiency by developing low-carbon fuel standards, promoting greater use of electric-based public transport, creating rebates/incentives to encourage the sale of efficient cars and light trucks and investing in freight and high-speed rail.
• Promoting sustainable policies in agriculture, forestry and waste sectors, including decreasing the amount of waste generated, supporting the use of renewable forms of clean energy on farms and increasing the use of low-carbon biomass fuels.
• Targeting research and development funds toward helping New York businesses develop low-carbon energy technologies while addressing State energy and infrastructure needs.
"Responding to climate change is an imperative for government. We must not allow ourselves to sit on the sidelines and get bogged down by contrived arguments from climate change doubters while other states and countries take the lead in developing a clean energy economy. The path ahead will require long-term dedication to make the public and private investments necessary to keep us moving in the right direction. But ignoring the need for action will be more costly in the long run," the Governor concluded.
In 2009, Governor Paterson directed the development of a State Climate Action Plan with his Executive Order No. 24. This Order set the goal of reducing the State's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050 and established a Climate Action Council to determine how to meet the goal. State agencies then launched a process that brought together more than 100 technical experts and the broader public to develop the plan including strategies for meeting the Governor's emission reduction and clean energy goals.
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.
The interim report is open to public review and comment through February 7, 2011. The report and instructions for submitting comments can be found at: http://nyclimatechange.us/. The New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report Fact Sheet can be found at: http://www.ny.gov/governor/more/ClimateActionPlanInterimReportFactSheet.pdf.
The following statements were provided in support of the Governor's Climate Action Plan:
Senator Antoine Thompson said: "As Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, I welcome this extraordinary opportunity to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to answer one of our greatest environmental challenges: climate change. I commend Governor Paterson on drafting such a thorough and aggressive Climate Action Plan, which will serve as the catalyst for job creation and a healthier environment in New York State. I am honored to play a critical role in this effort."
Carol E. Murphy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), Inc., said: "ACE NY commends Governor Paterson for acknowledging the imperative of reducing our carbon emissions and for establishing the Climate Action Council and plan. With aggressive deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies we can achieve major progress in meeting both short and long-term emissions reductions goals, which will fortunately have the added benefit of creating desperately needed economic development opportunities. ACE NY and its member organizations and companies look forward to helping the State to continue developing a sustainable energy infrastructure in New York."
William Sweet, Vice President of Construction and Engineering for Golub Corporation/Price Chopper Supermarkets, said: "The Climate Action Council has been instrumental in indentifying the types of challenges and changes necessary to make us environmentally sustainable as a State. I am happy to be a part of this monumental fete and represent the private sector, knowing that I have one small part in helping New York's reach its goals for a clean energy economy."
Steve Corneli, Senior Vice President of Market and Climate Policy for NRG Energy, said: "NRG is pleased to have worked with the State of New York and other stakeholders in developing this roadmap to a low carbon future. Given our significant investment in New York and our major clean energy initiatives across the nation, we look forward to being an active partner in helping the State achieve its sustainable energy goals."
Johanna Wellington, Sustainable Energy Advanced Technology Leader, GE Global Research, said: "GE commends the State on bringing together all of the key stakeholders to create a plan of action for addressing our energy challenges. We're pleased to be a part of the dialogue and are optimistic a Climate Action Plan can be implemented that not only drives clean energy solutions, but fuels new economic opportunities and job creation across New York State."
Sean Sweeney, Director of the Cornell Global Labor Institute, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, said: "There is a climate crisis and there is a jobs crisis, and we must address both at the same time. Unions engaged in developing the Climate Action Plan therefore support the State's science-based commitment to dramatically reduce emissions. Such a commitment will generate jobs in energy conservation, mass public transit, transforming power generation, green manufacturing and sustainable agriculture. However, it is crucial that these 'climate jobs' to be good jobs that sustain families and communities."
Ashok Gupta, Senior Energy Economist and Director of Energy Policy at the National Resources Defense Council, said: "The good news is that done right, addressing global warming pollution will result in immediate jobs associated with making existing buildings more energy efficient, reduction of pollutants harmful to public health and making the State and region more competitive through necessary investments in transmission, renewables, clean fuels, and transportation infrastructure. This plan shows how that could happen in New York."
Robert Moore, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York said: "Governor Paterson's Climate Action Plan lays the groundwork for reducing New York's greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by the year 2050 through clean energy development and reductions in energy consumption. Thanks to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo's firm commitment to action on climate change in his 'Cleaner, Greener NY' environmental agenda, we fully expect that these recommendations will be aggressively pursued."
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