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Bill Would Make New York State Leader Against Climate Change

A proposed law would put New York on track to achieve 100 percent of its energy from clean, renewable sources by 2050. (Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons)
A proposed law would put New York on track to achieve 100 percent of its energy from clean, renewable sources by 2050. (Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons)
June 1, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. - Hundreds of labor, community and environmental leaders gathered in Albany today, urging legislators to pass the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act. The bill would turn Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive orders on climate change into law.

Paul Getsos, interim campaign director for New York Renews, said the act, Assembly Bill 10342, would make an 80 percent reduction in the state's carbon emissions a legally enforceable mandate, putting the state on track to achieve 100 percent of its energy from clean, renewable sources by 2050.

"It also would ensure protections of communities that are most impacted by environmental justice issues," Getsos said, "as well as strengthening worker protections in new energy economies."

The bill could come up for a vote as early as today in the State Assembly. If it is pased, Getsos said, the Climate and Community Protection Act would put the state of New York at the forefront of national efforts to reduce the effects of global climate change.

"It's even stronger than California's," he said, "so it would place New York as one of the leading -- if not the leading -- states in the country addressing climate change in this manner."

Getsos said making carbon-reduction goals a matter of law would make it more difficult for a future governor to roll back goals established by Cuomo's executive orders. He said that's one reason why as many as 500 participants from all over New York have converged on the state Capitol to promote the bill.

"So it will be one of the most diverse and largest climate actions with a wide array of constituencies and sectors that Albany has seen," he said.

The bill has not yet been introduced in the state Senate, but supporters are meeting with several senators who have expressed interest in sponsoring the legislation.

Details of Assembly Bill 10342 are online at assembly.state.ny.us.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY