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December 2020

New York Passes Ambitious Climate Bill

New York Passes Ambitious Climate Bill 150 150 Joshua Jones

Renewable energy advocates everywhere are celebrating the state of New York passing a major climate bill. Called the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the law aims to radically curb New York’s emissions by more than tripling the state’s solar capacity and promoting the development of off-shore wind turbines.

While New York currently produces more than 1.7 gigawatts of solar power, this new bill aims to boost that to 6 gigawatts by 2025. This is an ambitious target that falls in line with the state’s goal of being emission-free by 2040. Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, was quoted as saying “This legislation mandates enough local solar to power 1 million households by 2025…this legislation also establishes one of the most aggressive clean energy mandates in the country.”

Achieving this goal would put New York ahead of even well-known progressive states like California, which has committed to reaching emission-free status by 2045. “It’s definitely the most progressive bill that we’ve seen anywhere,’’ Miles Farmer, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview. That statement comes as a host of other states make similar pledges to implement clean energy. In April, Puerto Rico passed legislation to source all of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050. New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington have all made similar pledges already, along with hundreds of cities and counties across the nation.

The new measure would also give New York’s regulators new direction that may lead to stricter pollution limits for power plants, as well as incentives to phase out natural gas and oil from home heating systems. While this raises some concerns around the potential increase in manufacturing costs, a report released earlier this year by Vote Solar estimates that achieving the bill’s solar goal will sustain more than 11,000 jobs between now and 2025.

What do you think of New York’s new climate bill? Will it affect you personally? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below!