Thursday, December 30, 2021

DEC RELEASES NEW YORK’S FIRST-EVER, STATEWIDE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REPORT COMPLIANT WITH STATE’S CLIMATE LAW


Supports Implementation of State’s Ambitious Climate Law 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos today announced the release of the State’s first-ever statewide greenhouse gas emissions report compliant with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The report describes statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 1990 through 2019, and will be produced annually as required by New York’s nation-leading climate law. The release of the report is a milestone in the State’s efforts to meet the requirements of the CLCPA.  

“The release of the first CLCPA-compliant, statewide report on greenhouse gas emissions advances New York’s efforts to implement our nation-leading Climate Law by providing a snapshot of greenhouse gas emissions, which will help ensure we achieve our aggressive target of net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Commissioner Seggos. “This annual report shows that while New York State has reduced emissions from several sectors over the last three decades, emissions from some sectors, including transportation, have increased, revealing that enormous challenges remain in our ongoing work to meet our emission-reduction targets. The report is a critical resource as we continue to act on climate and advance a just transition to clean energy that creates good jobs and supports a green economy for the future.”

“This report is critical to the ongoing work of the Climate Action Council and will certainly help inform strategic decisions on how New York State moves forward to transition to a green future,” said Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Co-Chair of the Climate Action Council. “More importantly, it gives New Yorkers reliable data at their fingertips so that they can also use this information to drive action and awareness on climate change and advocate for the progress we still need to make to ensure the health and safety of all who live and work in this great state.”

Under the CLCPA accounting, statewide greenhouse gas emissions have fallen six percent from 1990, and 17 percent from 2005. The report shows significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the last 30 years in some economic sectors, notably a 46-percent reduction in emissions from electricity generation since 1990, and a 34-percent reduction from the industrial sector. However, emissions from the transportation and buildings sectors have both increased by 16 percent since 1990?, although emissions from both sectors have declined since 2005. The report’s findings will be used to help guide efforts to implement the CLCPA and reduce emissions. In addition, the report found that while carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced over the last three decades, hydrofluorocarbons and methane emissions have increased during the same time period. 

The report is expressed in tons of carbon dioxide equivalents from all greenhouse gas emissions and leverages the best available science and data to describe emissions statewide from all economic sectors. This report is the first in New York State and marks the first in the U.S. to account for greenhouse gas emissions associated with the generation of imported electricity and the extraction and transmission of imported fossil fuels using a 20-year Global Warming Potential for GHGs. In addition, the report describes the emissions reduced by the state’s lands and forests that will help New York reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The annual report will aid in tracking the state’s progress toward its 2030 and 2050 emissions limits as codified in the New State Register in 2020.  

The report is posted to the DEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/99223.html.

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the CLCPA, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

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