Gov. Paterson Sets NY Emissions Goals
New York Governor David A. Paterson signed an executive order establishing an 80 percent emissions reduction goal by the year 2050.
Gov. Paterson stressed the importance of curbing harmful emissions as well as the economic opportunities afforded by the move to a clean energy economy:
“Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue of our time. By taking action, we send a signal that New Yorkers will do our share to address the climate crisis and we will do it in a way that creates opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish.”
New York becomes the eighth state to set an 80 percent goal for the year 2050, joining California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Hampshire. Judith Enck, New York’s deputy secretary for the environment, noted the significance of the growing group: "When you have New York and California together on this, you know, these economies are larger than some nations. We can really make national progress on this."
The executive order may lead to a strategy-mapping state emissions bill similar to the law adopted by California in 2006.
Pennsylvania and members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state trading program for power plant emissions, are also considering adopting a low-carbon fuel standard.
Jackson Morris, air and energy program director for Environmental Advocates of New York, said the reduction goal helps President Obama affect change on emissions.
"We firmly believe that New York making this announcement today helps President Obama in his quest to achieve 80 percent reduction by 2050," Morris said.
Gov. Paterson is also forming a climate action council, featuring the heads of major state agencies. The group is tasked with creating a climate action plan by September 2010 and setting out a logistical strategy for achieving the emissions goals.