New York’s ambitious sustainability project could be the largest transition on climate in the US bar none.
New York is famous for its sustainability efforts and now the state has a new goal: 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. Many urban areas globally have committed to renewables, but having a U.S. state with one of the world’s top cities do so is a whole new level of ambition.
Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, announced the plan within the launch of the broader Green New Deal, which consolidates bottom-up clean energy initiatives and sets a broader vision for an effective transition to climate neutrality. Cuomo has committed to his 2019 Justice Agenda, calling for a “globally unprecedented” growth in renewables. The move is also a response to President Donald Trump’s top-down resistance to climate action.
“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 nation’s most ambitious goal for carbon-free power, and ultimately eliminate our entire carbon footprint” Cuomo said in a statement.
The plan considers transition across all sectors of the economy, including well-thought green jobs while seeking to ensure that renewables are accessible to the most vulnerable parts of the population. A number of projects and initiatives will also be implemented to make the transition happen.
The first step on the agenda is a move away from the current 50% renewables share to 70% by 2030 through rapid growth in offshore wind, as well increasing New York’s renewable energy storage by 3,000 MW. On top of that, Cuomo has also initiated a $1.5 billion competition for 20 large-scale renewables and energy storage projects to be launched within the next three years, which should bring clean energy to over half a million homes.
The goal has yet to be approved by the state legislature, but if it does get approved, this will be the most ambitious and legally binding large-scale vision on climate in the US, bettering even California’s 2045 climate neutrality aim.