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Legislative Alert: March 31, 2023

New York State AFL-CIO
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President's Message

CLCPA Emissions Accounting Should Reflect Broader Needs

Meeting New York’s emissions reduction goals established by the CLCPA is a monumental task that will take every sector of our economy working together to solve. The transition to renewable and clean energy will not be easy under any circumstance but in order to make meaningful progress in reducing emissions while preserving jobs and causing minimal economic damage, we must be mindful of New York’s economic standing regionally, nationally, and on the international stage.

One vital area of the CLCPA that has received little attention is the way New York accounts for emissions used to determine the state’s progress in meeting its goals. New York State uses a 20-year standard to compare the damage that various greenhouse gases cause to the environment as compared to the more widely used 100-year standard. 

This is a major difference and has made New York State an outlier compared to other states, the federal government, and international agreements addressing climate change. Virtually every other state that has enacted emission reduction goals utilizes the 100-year measure as does the federal government. This means that New York’s measuring system is much stricter than our partners in addressing climate change, not to mention competing states and nations that have enacted no greenhouse gas policies at all.

The effect is that programs like Build Back Better or the Inflation Reduction Act, which incentivize the development of clean energy are likely to be utilized in other areas by developers because New York’s standards will be much more difficult to meet. Further, renewable technology does not yet exist for many of New York’s existing employers in manufacturing, mining, or other high-emission sectors. Changing to the 100-year standard will help those employers transition to cleaner energy where that is possible, helping to prevent leakage and preserve jobs in the state as we combat climate change.

The NYS AFL-CIO and its affiliates are committed to the emissions reduction goals in the CLCPA. Reaching these goals must be done in a way that keeps New York competitive and preserves and creates jobs economy-wide. If we are to attract clean energy development and encourage existing employers to transition to clean energy, New York’s standard must be strong but also compatible with our partners. Therefore, we strongly urge the adoption of the 100-year standard.

Mario Cilento, President

Upcoming Meeting

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 1:00 p.m.