Report: New York won’t meet its 2030 climate goals
Monday, December 4, 2023
Just as New York State prepares for its first offshore wind farm to come online, a new report predicted the state will not meet its climate goals.
The Public Power New York report showed, despite great progress, the state will not meet its 2030 clean-energy targets. In October, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a multibillion-dollar investment in renewable energy projects which would accomplish 70% of the state's goal.
Patrick Robbins, coordinator of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance, described some of the factors at play.
"One answer is a kind of uneven marketplace for financial investment when you're looking at renewable energy," Robbins explained. "There was a number of contracts and leases that fell apart for utility-scale renewables, just in the last two months, here in New York."
He also cited supply chain issues and increased costs for construction materials. Some renewable energy developers canceled projects because their contracts were negotiated prior to the pandemic. But Robbins is confident New York can make up lost ground, and pointed out the New York Power Authority is taking advantage of Inflation Reduction Act funds for renewable energy projects.
While the pandemic may have slowed New York's progress on its climate goals, it is not the entire issue. Robbins emphasized there is more than enough blame to go around. He argued the state could have done plenty of things differently since the goals were set in the Climate Leadership and Protection Act.
"The support from the state itself has really been uneven at best," Robbins contended. "Especially, actually, at the time of the CLCPA's passage. When you're not talking about a strong and dependable state partner, there's only really so much you can do."
Over the next year, Robbins stressed he and other climate activists hope to educate legislators and the public about New York's climate goals and what more could be done to achieve them.
Though 2030 may not be the year the goals are met, Robbins is confident they are within reach. He said the timeline depends on Gov. Hochul and the New York Power Authority's board.
"I am confident that, if the governor and the NYPA board craft an ambitious implementation plan for 2025 and see that through, we will usher in a new era in New York's energy generation that can set a positive example for the country and the world," Robbins added.
Plenty of legislation has passed in recent years to ensure the state moves closer to its goals. However, lawmakers have said some bills like the New York HEAT Act failed due to competing priorities in the budget process.
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