ALBANY, NY (WENY) — While the state budget continues to progress into overtime with an extender, a change to a New York climate law arose in negotiations.
Recently introduced legislation, supported by Gov. Kathy Hochul, intends to change New York’s accounting standards for greenhouse gas emissions from 20 years to 100 years.
This change amends the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA)–a 2019 law that requires New York to reduce it’s greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.
Some advocates said this proposal will harm front line communities.
“One thing I know for sure, I want my kids to survive and being in the front line, there is no way that we can survive because I don’t have income or the means of an income when a hurricane comes for me to uproot my family and go,” said Rachel Rivera, Environmental Advocate and Hurricane Sandy Survivor.
Some Democratic lawmakers agreed this proposal will have negative impacts.
“To have this be part of the negotiations last minute is a grieve disappointment and it is very scary for a lot of us. This bill will in effect gut the CLCPA,” said Assembly Member Anna Kelles (D-Assembly District 125).
Some Republican lawmakers welcome this change saying it will help address affordability.
“In recent days, Governor Hochul and some legislative Democrats have admitted to seeing the light. They are finally looking to pump the brakes on what is currently an out-of-control time line to implement far-reaching energy mandates that New Yorkers don’t want, can’t afford, and, most importantly, know won’t make a difference for the climate in this state, this nation, or anywhere around the world,” stated Sen. Tom O’Mara (R-Big Flats).
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said they are working on solutions to address the state’s climate change goals and issues of affordability.
“When we think about how we get from here to there what we have learned over a series of years, and certainly what the global community would agree with is it is possible to do both,” said Doreen Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA.