New York State continues to demonstrate leadership for climate change action. Below is a summary of key climate change statutes, regulations, and other policies in New York State, but is not intended to be a complete list of all of the State's climate-related statutes, regulations, and policies.
Climate Change Statutes
- Signed into law in July 2019 and became effective on January 1, 2020.
- Climate Act directives for New York State include:
- 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030
- 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050
- Net-Zero emissions statewide by 2050
- 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040
- 70% Renewable Energy by 2030
- Requires the state to install:
- 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035
- 6,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2025
- 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030
- Strong focus on disadvantaged communities (leaves DEC website), including a just transition to a low-carbon economy for disadvantaged communities.
- Created a Climate Action Council to develop New York's Scoping Plan which outlines recommended policies and actions to help meet the directives of the Climate Act.
- Signed in 2014, CRRA requires applicants for certain state funding or permits for applicable programs demonstrate that future climate risks due to sea level rise, storm surge and flooding have been considered and incorporated into certain facility siting regulations.
- Required Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt science-based sea level rise projections, which DEC did in 2017 via 6 NYCRR Part 490.
- Required adding mitigation of risk due to sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding to the list of smart-growth criteria to be considered by state public-infrastructure agencies.
- Required DEC and NYS Department of State to develop implementation guidance on the use of natural resources and natural processes to enhance community resilience.
- Required the NYS Department of State and DEC to develop model local laws (leaves DEC website) that can help increase community resilience.
CRRA was amended by the Climate Act in 2019 to:
- Expand the scope to include all permits subject to the Uniform Procedures Act and expanded consideration of all future climate hazards for applicable programs.
- Require DEC to take actions to promote climate adaptation and resilience.
Cryptocurrency Mining Law
- Signed in 2022, the cryptocurrency mining law, or the cryptocurrency moratorium, directs DEC, in consultation with the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS), to prepare a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) on cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions. This law also established a two-year moratorium on the issuance of certain permits to certain cryptocurrency mining operations.
- The first step in preparing the draft GEIS is for DEC to prepare a “scope” or outline of its contents. The scope refers to the outline of what the draft GEIS will contain. DEC has prepared the Crypto GEIS draft scope (PDF) and it is available for review.
Written comments on the draft scope will be accepted until February 9, 2024. Please submit comments to [email protected] with the subject line “Crypto GEIS Draft Scope."
Other Climate Change Policies
Commissioner Policy 49 (CP-49) - Climate Change and DEC Action
- First established in 2010 and updated in 2022, Commissioner Policy #49 (PDF) "Climate Change and DEC Action" (CP-49) provides guidance to agency divisions, offices, and regions regarding the incorporation of climate change considerations into agency activities. In 2022, DEC revised CP-49 to reflect requirements under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). This includes guidance for implementing provisions of Sections 7 and 9 of the CLCPA. Visit the DEC Climate Change Guidance Documents page for more information.
Value of Carbon Guidance
- First established in 2022 for use by State entities to aid decision-making.
- Demonstrates the global societal value of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the requirements of the Climate Act.
- Appendix provides social cost values for carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the 1 percent, 2 percent, and 3 percent discount rates.
- Visit the DEC Climate Change Guidance Documents page for more information.
Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) Implementation Guidance
- CRRA requires DEC, in consultation with the NYS Department of State, to prepare guidance on implementation of the statute.
- Includes Using Natural Measures to Reduce the Risk of Flooding (PDF) to serve as a guide to selection and planning of actions that conserve, restore or mimic natural landforms and processes to reduce climate risks.
- Includes State Flood Risk Management Guidance (SFRMG) (PDF) with recommended flood-risk management guideline elevations that incorporate possible future climate change flooding conditions and used to inform DEC regulatory programs and other state agencies as they develop program-specific guidance to require consideration of physical risks of climate change.
- Includes Guidance for Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Assessment (PDF) to guide state agencies as they assess mitigation of sea level rise, storm surge and flooding in siting and design of public-infrastructure projects.