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Fostering Healthy and Resilient Communities

Partnering With Communities to Decarbonize for a Cleaner, Safer Future

More than 200,000 buildings would need to be decarbonized annually for the next 30 years to address New York’s entire building stock by 2050.

Collaboration between the State and local level is critical to achieving our climate goals and expanding clean energy generation across New York. Moving our economy away from fossil fuel energy sources (e.g., natural gas) – a process known as decarbonization – creates healthier living environments while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. This transformation spans buildings and infrastructure, transportation, power generation, and industry, and for it to succeed, we need to provide communities with the tools and resources to obtain local benefits from clean energy while working towards a decarbonized future.

New York’s diverse communities, spanning 932 towns, 62 cities, and 10 Indigenous Nations, have shared interests in preserving and expanding quality of life, including affordable housing, job opportunities, and clean air and water. Yet, the greatest environmental burdens from the fossil fuel economy have been borne by Disadvantaged Communities, as demonstrated by disparities in air quality and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Accelerating our decarbonization efforts, especially in historically marginalized communities, can reverse these health inequities and ensure all New Yorkers benefit from the clean energy transition.

How We’re Advancing Public Health and Climate Resilience

Health and safety benefits from clean energy and decarbonization can be difficult to quantify and may not always be well understood. NYSERDA is strengthening local capacity and awareness through planning resources, community engagement, and developing holistic community-scale solutions to decarbonize buildings, transportation, and power generation.

Specifically, NYSERDA’s key strategies include:

Achieving Community Decarbonization

Empowered with resources and State support, local governments will advance clean energy development that provides host community benefits and prioritizes underutilized spaces, such as brownfields and former industrial sites.

By 2050, 85% of New York buildings will use clean heating and cooling technologies, such as heat pumps and thermal energy networks.

Most New York homes and buildings will undergo energy efficiency improvements and adopt heat pumps or connect to thermal energy networks, eliminating the combustion of fossil fuels and fostering safer indoor environments. As more vehicles and power plants eliminate the use of fossil fuels and shift to clean energy, New York communities will see improved air quality, lessening the risk of asthma, respiratory illness, heart disease, and other adverse health impacts.

Achieving community decarbonization will promote job growth and investment across New York, further enhancing the health and economic well-being of New Yorkers.

Key Programs and Initiatives

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