REDOUBLING NEW YORK'S FIGHT AGAINST THE ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS POSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE AND AFFIRMING THE GOALS OF THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT
WHEREAS, the federal government’s withdrawal from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement (Paris Agreement), adopted on December 12, 2015, represents an abdication of leadership on climate change that threatens the environmental and economic health of all New Yorkers; and
WHEREAS, New Yorkers have witnessed firsthand the damaging effects of climate change, including severe storm events, rising sea levels, droughts, and electricity outages that cause both environmental and economic harm; and
WHEREAS, I, Andrew M. Cuomo have previously issued executive orders that call for greenhouse gas emission reductions totaling eighty percent by 2050; and
WHEREAS, in recognition of the challenges posed by climate change and the economic opportunities created by the clean energy economy, New York has adopted a State Energy Plan that establishes nation-leading climate and clean energy goals, including a forty percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, a commitment to source fifty percent of New York’s electricity from renewables by 2030, and a twenty-three percent increase in energy efficiency by 2030; and
WHEREAS, New York has already committed to aggressive investments and initiatives to turn the State Energy Plan goals into action through its Clean Energy Standard program, the $5 Billion Clean Energy Fund, the $1 Billion NY-Sun solar program, the nation’s largest Green Bank, and unprecedented reforms to make the electricity grid more resilient, reliable, and affordable; and
WHEREAS, New York State is engaged in greenhouse gas reduction activities throughout the state’s economy, including through the issuance of the Methane Reduction Plan and participation in regional collaborations seeking greenhouse gas emissions reductions including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”) and the Transportation and Climate Initiative (“TCI”); and
WHEREAS, New York’s State Energy Plan goals and actions are even more aggressive and ambitious than the agreement executed by the United States implementing the terms of the Paris Agreement and ensure that New York will be a leader in achieving the goals for our nation that had been embodied in the Paris Agreement; and
WHEREAS, in addition to our leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the clean energy economy, the state has prioritized investments in helping communities adapt to the changing climate by advancing programs, such as Climate Smart New York, to improve resiliency, protect important habitats and natural infrastructure, and plan for our uncertain future; and
WHEREAS, these efforts have included using natural sources like oyster reefs and living shorelines to protect New York’s hundreds of miles of coastlines, investing millions of dollars through the Environmental Protection fund, adopting the Climate Risk and Resiliency Act to ensure that funding and permits take storm surge and sea level rise into account, and issuing an Ocean Action Plan in 2016, which recognizes the detrimental impacts climate change is having on our critical marine resources, including our multimillion dollar shellfishery industry; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding the United States federal government’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, it is essential that states such as New York, working with all concerned organizations, businesses and citizens, continue to fulfill, uphold, and even exceed the objectives of the Paris Agreement; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority invested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New York, do hereby order as follows:
For the purposes of this Executive Order, the following term is defined as follows:
A. “Affected State Entities” means (i) all agencies and departments over which the Governor has Executive Authority, and (ii) all public-benefit corporations, public authorities and commissions, for which the Governor appoints the Chair, the Chief Executive, or the majority of Board Members, except for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
II. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS POLICY
It is the policy of the State of New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forty percent by 2030, and eighty percent by 2050 from 1990 levels, across all emitting activities of the economy. Therefore, all actions of all Affected State Entities shall be reasonably consistent with the policies stated herein, and of those expressed in the 2015 State Energy Plan, to achieve such objectives.
III. ACTIONS TO MEET POLICY GOALS
In order to achieve these objectives, each Affected State Entity shall adopt by March 31, 2018 a plan demonstrating activities and programs that will contribute to the State of New York’s achievement of these important policy goals.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) are hereby directed to develop an approach to emissions reductions measurement and accounting that shall be adopted by the Affected State Entities.
DEC and NYSERDA are also hereby directed to make staff available to provide the Affected State Entities with any technical assistance that may be necessary to ensure that those entities’s adopted plans are effective and achievable.
Affected State Entities are hereby directed to implement a portfolio of measures that may include but shall not be limited to no- and low-cost operational improvements, retro-commissioning, capital energy efficiency retrofits, and onsite renewable and high efficiency combined heat and power projects.
G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this first day of June in the year two thousand seventeen.
BY THE GOVERNOR
Secretary to the Governor