New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has announced his Green New Deal is included in the 2019 Executive Budget. The plan provides for a transition to clean energy that will help spur the growth of the green economy while prioritizing the needs of low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.
Cuomo stated, "While the federal government shamefully ignores the reality of climate change and fails to take meaningful action, we are launching the first-in-the-nation Green New Deal to seize the potential of the clean energy economy, set the nation's most ambitious goal for carbon-free power, and ultimately eliminate our entire carbon footprint."
The Green New Deal will statutorily mandate New York's power be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040, the most aggressive goal in the United States and five years ahead of a target recently adopted by California. The cornerstone of this new mandate is a significant increase of New York's Clean Energy Standard mandate from 50 percent to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. This will include:
Quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to 9,000 MW by 2035, up from 2,400 MW by 2030
Doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 mw by 2025, up from 3,000 MW by 2023
More than doubling new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard
Maximizing the contributions and potential of New York's existing renewable resources
Deploying 3,000 mw of energy storage by 2030, up from 1,500 MW by 2025
The Green New Deal will create the New York’s first statutory Climate Action Council, comprised of the heads of relevant state agencies and other workforce, environmental justice, and clean energy experts to develop a comprehensive plan to make New York carbon neutral by significantly and cost-effectively reducing emissions from all major sources, including electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, commercial activity, and agriculture.
Governor Cuomo is also announcing $1.5 billion in competitive awards to support 20 large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects across upstate New York. These investments will add over 1,650 MW of capacity and generate over 3,800,000 MWh of renewable energy annually - enough to power nearly 550,000 homes and create over 2,600 short and long-term jobs. Combined with the renewable energy projects previously announced under the Clean Energy Standard, New York has now awarded more than $2.9 billion to 46 projects statewide, enough to power over one million households.
The plan also includes new investments of up to $200 million in port infrastructure to match private sector investment in regional development of offshore wind. These new investments build upon a $250 million commitment to electric vehicle infrastructure by the New York Power Authority's EVolve program, $3.5 billion in private investment in distributed solar driven by NYSERDA's NY-Sun program, and NY Green Bank transactions mobilizing nearly $1.75 billion in private capital for clean energy projects.
The Green New Deal also aims to help historically underserved communities prepare for a clean energy future and adapt to climate change by:
Giving communities a seat at the table by codifying the Environmental Justice and Just Transition Working Group into law and incorporating it into the planning process for the Green New Deal's implementation.
Directing the State's low-income energy task force to identify reforms to achieve greater impact of the public energy funds expended each year in order to increase the effect of funds and initiatives that target energy affordability to underserved communities.
Directing each of the State's ten Regional Economic Development Councils to develop an environmental justice strategy for their region.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "Climate scientists have made frighteningly clear that averting the worst effects of climate change will require bold action, not incremental steps, and Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal boldly goes where no others have before. His unwavering climate agenda includes the most aggressive clean energy target in U.S. history, the largest commitments to renewable energy and to offshore wind in the nation, a massive mobilization of clean energy jobs and an unprecedented investment in offshore wind port infrastructure."
During Governor Cuomo's first two terms, New York banned fracking of natural gas, committed to phasing out coal power by 2020, mandated 50 percent renewable power by 2030, and established the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris Agreement.