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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

Leading the Way on Climate Action

The Climate Act requires New York to reduce economy-wide GHG emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050 from 1990 levels.

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane, is essential to combatting climate change and creating cleaner, healthier communities.

More than half of New York’s GHG emissions come from buildings and transportation, while other leading emissions sources include power generation, waste, industry, and agriculture.

The Climate Act sets nation-leading limits on emissions that will enable the State to advance economy-wide carbon neutrality – a balance between how much carbon we emit and how much can be absorbed from the atmosphere. The Climate Action Council’s Final Scoping Plan Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., which was approved in December 2022, charts the course for New York State’s policies and programs to achieve swift, transformative changes to our energy systems and economy.

How We’re Driving Emissions Reduction to Decarbonize New York 

Meeting our emissions reduction targets requires decarbonizing New York’s buildings, transportation system, and power generation. In other words, decarbonization requires transitioning from equipment and energy systems that involve the combustion of fossil fuels, including oil, propane, and natural gas, to zero-emission technologies and renewable energy sources. New York’s transition away from fossil fuels is already underway. We’re continually expanding our supply of solar and wind energy, as well as increasing adoption of electric vehicles and heat pumps.

NYSERDA is working with other State agencies, utilities, industry, and community partners to accelerate New York’s work towards achieving our GHG emissions reduction goals while establishing a model for other states and jurisdictions to follow.

Here's how:

Achieving Economy-wide Carbon Neutrality

Our emissions reduction efforts will drive New York’s clean energy economy and improve local air quality while contributing to global efforts to mitigate climate change. Nearly half a million New Yorkers will be employed in clean energy to develop the renewable energy systems and equipment needed in New York, as well as other jurisdictions.

The transition to carbon neutrality will also transform our homes, transportation, and infrastructure. By 2030, home energy efficiency upgrades will make heat pumps the preferred option for customers, with two million homes having already switched to clean heating and cooling. Millions of electric vehicles will be on the road in New York by 2030 and charged by a grid that sources 70% or more of its electricity from renewable sources.

New York will generate 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040, which will power the vast majority of our buildings and modes of transportation. To achieve an 85% emissions reduction by 2050, future research and development will provide low-carbon solutions for hard-to-electrify sectors and negative emissions technology to capture and sequester carbon.

New York continues to make progress toward the goal of an 85% greenhouse gas emissions reduction relative to the 1990 baseline by 2050.

 

NOTE: all emissions inventory numbers were updated at the end of 2021 following DEC rulemaking on emissions accounting methodology to align with the Climate Act. The new inventory numbers put New York’s baseline of emissions at roughly 70% higher than pre-Climate Act accounting, due to the changes in accounting for upstream emissions, global warming potential, and other updates to more properly gauge the near-term impact of our emissions.

  • 1990: 404 MMT CO2e (AR5 GWP20), including emissions from agriculture, waste, industry, electricity, transportation, and buildings.
  • 2005: 461 MMT CO2e, including emissions from agriculture, waste, industry, electricity, transportation, and buildings
  • 2019: 376 MMT CO2e, including emissions from agriculture, waste, industry, electricity, transportation, and buildings
  • 2030: 246 MMT CO2e (goal)
  • 2050: 62 MMT CO2e (goal)

Due to methodological updates included in DEC’s GHG Emissions Report, the 1990 baseline differs slightly from the 1990 baseline incorporated into DEC’s Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits regulation (Part 496) that informed the establishment of the 2030 and 2050 values. The 2030 and 2050 values shown here are based on regulation, while the 1990 value shown here is based on the latest information developed for the annual GHG Emissions Report.

Our Progress

Established by the Climate Act Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., our nation-leading climate goals set firm limits on GHG emissions. Using 1990 as a benchmark, New York is striving to reduce GHG emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050. NYSERDA will work with DEC to continually monitor progress towards our goals through the statewide greenhouse gas inventory report Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

While we work towards our statewide emissions reduction goals, interim progress will also be assessed by the number of homes that convert to clean heating and cooling and the portion of new vehicle sales that are zero-emission. Similarly, the number of businesses that align their mission with sustainability and the total job growth in clean energy are key measures of our progress towards the 2030 and 2050 targets.

Advancements in innovation are also paramount to our climate action and emissions reduction. Developing negative emissions technologies and solutions to sequester carbon from construction and industry may be necessary to achieve carbon neutrality.

Other indicators of our progress can be found on New York’s Clean Energy Dashboard.

 


GHG Emissions Reduction Programs and Initiatives

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