Proclamation Reaffirms New York's Commitment to Combat Climate Change, Make Communities More Resilient, and Create More Equitable Opportunities for All New Yorkers

September 18, 2023

Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a proclamation[PDF] announcing Sept. 17-24, 2023, as Climate Week in New York State. The announcement reaffirms New York’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make communities more resilient, drive action to tackle climate change and advance environmental justice, ensure affordability as part of the clean energy transition, and create new jobs and opportunities for future generations. Climate Week is observed in New York City each year, this year marking the 15th year as New York State advances its efforts to achieve the State’s nation-leading climate and clean energy targets under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

"New York is advancing one of the nation's most ambitious plans to reduce harmful emissions that are affecting our climate and disproportionately impacting our communities," Governor Hochul said. "Our steadfast commitment and transformative investments in clean and renewable energy projects are helping to ensure that New York remains at the forefront of climate action with a focus on environmental justice to achieve a cleaner, greener, and healthier environment for all New Yorkers.”

Severe storms and flooding, extreme heat and wildfires, drought, and air pollution have threatened New Yorkers' health and quality of life, and our infrastructure continues to be threatened by climate-related hazards. In 2019, New York State enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act), requiring a reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, and 85 percent by 2050, putting the state on a path to carbon neutrality. The New York State Climate Action Council, created pursuant to the Climate Act, finalized a Scoping Plan Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. last December to provide a roadmap for the State to reduce its emissions.

New York State is putting environmental justice front and center with a commitment to provide disadvantaged communities with 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of overall benefits of investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. The State’s Climate Justice Working Group, comprised of representatives from environmental justice communities statewide, finalized the criteria identifying disadvantaged communities Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. across the state last March. The Climate Act also establishes the most aggressive clean energy agenda in the nation, requiring 70 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, and 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040.

The Enacted Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Budget included investments in sustainable buildings, energy affordability, and clean energy development. The Budget makes New York the first state in the nation to advance comprehensive legislation for constructing modern zero-emission new homes and buildings, advancing zero-emission new buildings seven stories or lower, except large commercial and industrial buildings, by December 31, 2025, and all other new buildings by December 31, 2028.

The Budget also advances Governor Hochul’s priority to propose an affordable, equitable, and effective Cap-and-Invest Program Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., which will establish a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, limit potential costs to New Yorkers, invest proceeds in programs that drive emission reductions in an equitable manner, and maintain the competitiveness of New York businesses and industries. The Budget also includes $400 million to provide relief to New Yorkers experiencing high electric bills as well as lower-energy burdens through energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "New York State is taking bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health and quality of life for New Yorkers, advance climate justice, and protect the environment for future generations. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, we are advancing efforts under the Climate Act to reduce emissions including the development of a Cap-and-Invest Program and implementation of the statewide community air monitoring initiative in disadvantaged communities. During Climate Week and throughout the year, DEC stands with our local, State, and federal partners to combat climate change, ensure affordability, and prioritize environmental justice for the benefit of New Yorkers.”

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, “Governor Hochul is unwavering in her leadership on climate action and this Climate Week provides another opportunity to showcase New York’s commitment to protecting our precious natural resources and environment for future generations. As we embrace this pivotal moment, our collective and deliberate efforts as a State to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions statewide will empower an equitable transition to a green economy that creates family-sustaining jobs, fosters healthy communities, and leaves no New Yorker behind.”

New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "It's important to take this moment during Climate Week to recognize the collaborative state effort to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Under Governor Hochul, New York State is redoubling its efforts to decarbonize the economy through investments in transmission resiliency, renewable generation, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency measures."

New York State Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said, “I applaud Governor Hochul’s steadfast commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to improve the environment. As a result of her leadership, New York is well on its way to achieving its established clean-energy climate goals.”
Angela Barranco, Executive Director for North America at Climate Group, said, “This is exactly the kind of climate leadership from city and subnational governments that Climate Week NYC is all about. From speeding up the shift to renewables to rolling out electric vehicles across the State of New York, it’s time for bold action -not tomorrow, not next week - but now.”

New York State has solar, onshore wind and offshore wind projects along with new transmission projects under development. Once completed, these projects will help transform the way homes and businesses are powered across the state. The State is also investing in the increased resilience and reliability of the transmission system through the development of numerous high-impact projects that will enable the efficient transfer of renewable power throughout the State.

As a leader in the transition to clean and renewable energy, New York State is investing in innovative technologies that are creating new economic opportunities across the state, including programs like NY-Sun, ReCharge NY Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., NY Green Bank Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., as well as programs to assist communities to implement locally-based climate action, including the statewide community air monitoring initiative Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., Regional Clean Energy Hubs, BuildSmart2025 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., Smart Street Lighting NY Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., Evolve NY Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., and Charge NY.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change.