Climate Action Council Releases Draft Scoping Plan for Public Comment
New Yorkers Encouraged to Review and Comment on Draft Scoping Plan Beginning Jan. 1 to Advance and Implement Nation-Leading Climate Law
Additional Climate Milestones Include Release of Barriers Report, Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report and Jobs Study
Climate Justice Working Group Approves Draft Definition of Disadvantaged Communities for Release in January 2022
New York State's Climate Action Council Co-Chairs, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) President and CEO Doreen M. Harris, today announced the release of the Draft Scoping Plan, which describes recommended policies and actions to help New York meet its ambitious climate directives as part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). After a unanimous 19-0 vote by the Climate Action Council on Dec. 20, 2021. The Draft Scoping Plan is now available for public review and public comment beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
Climate Action Council Co-Chair and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "For nearly two years, the Climate Action Council, with input from experts and stakeholders from every field and economic sector and support from State agencies, was dedicated to developing the Draft Scoping Plan to advance New York's ambitious climate law and address climate change, the existential threat of our time. Now we are calling on New Yorkers to review the draft plan and provide their input. Only by working together and bringing everyone's voices to the table can we meet this challenge head on and ensure all communities benefit from New York's transition to a cleaner, greener future."
Climate Action Council Co-Chair and NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "The Draft Scoping Plan embodies the needed action to address the very real crisis that climate change represents, forging cooperation between wide-ranging perspectives from across the state to meet the weighty challenge ahead of us. Together we will fight climate change and chart a clean energy future that will benefit New Yorkers for generations to come. We look forward to receiving feedback from the public in the coming months to ensure an equitable and just energy transition that builds greater access to clean energy, creates family-sustaining jobs and brings forward public benefits such as improved air quality for all New Yorkers."
The release of the Draft Scoping Plan, available at the New York State Climate Act website (leaves DEC website), kicks off a 120-day public comment period beginning Jan. 1, 2022. New Yorkers are encouraged to submit comments via the online public comment form (leaves DEC website), via email at [email protected], and via U.S. mail to Attention: Draft Scoping Plan Comments, NYSERDA, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399. The public comment period will also include at least six public hearings across the State. Details and information about how to participate in the public hearings will be announced in early 2022.
The Climate Action Council's seven advisory panels - Transportation, Agriculture and Forestry, Land Use and Local Government, Power Generation, Energy Efficiency and Housing, Energy Intensive and Trade Exposed Industries, and Waste - along with the Climate Justice Working Group and Just Transition Working Group, submitted recommendations for the Climate Action Council to consider in the development of the Draft Scoping Plan that will help guide the State in achieving its statutory obligations under the Climate Act to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy development, ensure climate justice, and advance the State's commitment to carbon neutrality economy-wide by 2050. The recommendations from the advisory panels, along with feedback from the Climate Justice Working Group, helped to advance an integration analysis process, which provided a cost-benefit assessment of the strategies under consideration accounting for emissions reductions and health benefits.
The Draft Scoping Plan has now been submitted to the Governor and the Legislature as required pursuant to the Climate Act. Public input received in response to the issuance of the Draft Scoping Plan will be used by the Climate Action Council to help develop the Final Scoping Plan, which will be posted online and delivered to the Governor and the Legislature by Jan.1, 2023, as required under the Climate Act. DEC will release legally binding regulations to ensure the realization of the Climate Act's required emissions reductions by Jan.1, 2024, as set forth in the Climate Act, informed by the Scoping Plan's recommended strategies.
In addition to the critical work and progress of the Climate Action Council, State agencies and working groups are acting to meet other key requirements of the Climate Act, including:
Disadvantaged Communities Barriers and Opportunities Report
New York's Disadvantaged Communities Barriers and Opportunities Report (PDF) (leaves DEC website) was developed to help address persistent disparities in economic opportunity, education, housing, environmental quality, health status, and mobility that heighten community vulnerability to the effects of climate change in historically underserved and marginalized areas. The Barriers and Opportunities Report identifies the barriers faced by disadvantaged communities and recommends actions for State agencies to design climate mitigation, adaptation, and clean energy programs with a focus on climate justice. Recommendations from this report will be incorporated into the Climate Action Council's Final Scoping Plan.
Definition of Disadvantaged Communities
The Climate Justice Working Group voted to release its draft criteria and definition of disadvantaged communities during its meeting on Dec.13, 2021. The draft list of disadvantaged communities and identifying criteria will be released to the public in January and posted online at the Climate Act website (leaves DEC website) for a 120-day public comment period, including at least six public hearings, to gain feedback and input to help develop the final definition. The final definition will be incorporated into the Climate Action Council's Final Scoping Plan. Criteria and methods for identifying disadvantaged communities will be reviewed annually to make sure the State is targeting emissions reductions and energy investments to ensure climate justice.
The Just Transition Working Group released the Jobs Study (PDF) (leaves DEC website) required under the Climate Act, which estimates the number of jobs created to combat climate change and examines the skills and training required to tackle the climate crisis. The findings of the Jobs Study reveal that New York stands to see 10 jobs added in growing clean energy sectors for every job potentially lost in a displaced sector, amounting to hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the State by 2030 and beyond - and that the wage profile shows the largest increase in middle wage positions. The Just Transition Working Group is also working to advise the Climate Action Council on issues and opportunities for workforce development and training related to energy efficiency measures, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies, with specific focus on training and workforce opportunities for disadvantaged communities and segments of the population that may be underrepresented in the clean energy workforce.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report
DEC released New York's first-ever Climate Act-compliant Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report, which describes statewide greenhouse gas emissions for 1990 through 2019. This report will be produced annually as required by the Climate Act. This report is the first in the U.S. to use a 20-year Global Warming Potential for greenhouse gas emissions and to account for greenhouse gas emissions associated with the generation of imported electricity and the extraction and transmission of imported fossil fuels. The report found that statewide greenhouse gas emissions have fallen six percent from 1990, and 17 percent from 2005. The report shows significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity and industrial sectors and increased emissions from buildings, transportation, and waste sectors. The report's findings will be used to help guide efforts to implement the Climate Act and reduce emissions. For more information and to review the report, visit DEC's website.
To review the reports and for additional information, please visit the Climate Act website (leaves DEC website).
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.