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Governor Cuomo Signs Onto 17-State Accord to Tackle Energy Challenges

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York’s participation in the bipartisan Governors’ Energy Accord Coalition, a multi-state effort to develop and implement clean energy policies and initiatives that expand clean energy sources, modernize energy infrastructure and build a clean energy economy. Today’s action follows the Governor’s announcement in January of a $5 billion Clean Energy Fund which is part of New York State’s overall commitment to lead the nation in the fight against climate change.

“From the creation of a $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to implementing our ambitious Clean Energy Standard, New York is fully committed to our role as a national leader in growing the clean tech economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are proud to join with other states seeking to achieve the same goal and by working together, we can develop an effective national energy policy to ensure a safer, greener and more sustainable future for all.”

By signing this accord, Governor Cuomo is joining the governors of 16 other states including California, Connecticut, Delaware Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. These states have pledged to diversify energy generation and expand clean energy sources, modernize the energy infrastructure, encourage clean transportation options and work together to make transformational energy policy changes and plan for the needed energy transition to clean, renewable energy.

Additionally, the accord further advances Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy which is taking bold steps to reduce greenhouse gases, drive renewable energy and energy efficiency, grow jobs and stimulate economic activity. Recent actions by the Governor to support these efforts have included:

  • Launched a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund that will support the State’s Clean Energy Standard, which mandates that by 2030, 50 percent of electricity consumed in New York must result from clean and renewable energy sources.
  • Established some of the nation’s most ambitious energy goals that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, 23 percent decrease in energy consumption in buildings and making the state coal free by 2020.
  • Partnering with neighboring states in the innovative market-based Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), New York has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by more than 45 percent since 2005 and other harmful air pollutants more than 90 percent, providing billions of dollars in public health benefits.
  • Signed the “Under 2 MOU,” a commitment between states, provinces and cities worldwide to keep the earth’s average temperature from increasing 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
  • Leading outreach efforts to partners in RGGI and to California, Quebec and Ontario to explore potential approaches to linking their carbon reduction programs to build a broader, more beneficial market.
  • The Governor’s 2016 State of the State proposals to install solar power on 150,000 home and businesses; converting State University at New York (SUNY) facilities to renewable energy by the year 2020; creation of a Clean Energy Workforce Opportunity Program to educate the next generation of clean energy workers.
  • Proposed increasing the Environmental Protection Fund to $300 million, the highest level of funding in the program’s history and dedicating new funding for climate change mitigation and adaption projects.
  • Joined the International Zero Emissions Vehicle coalition and, with the other states participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative, developing potential market based and other strategies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.

Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State said, “Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy is a pathway to a clean energy future through innovative programs and policies like the Clean Energy Standard and Clean Energy Fund that will drive clean tech innovation. We look forward to having this forum whereby we can exchange forward thinking ideas with state and national leaders to develop a coordinated and progressive energy policy.”

Basil Seggos, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said, “Governor Cuomo has developed one of the most aggressive and comprehensive clean energy and climate resiliency agendas in the nation. To be successful in the global fight to address climate change, collaboration and cooperation among state and national leaders is essential. By signing onto the Governors’ Energy Accord Coalition, Governor Cuomo is once again demonstrating his leadership while ensuring New York’s emerging clean energy markets are well positioned to grow even stronger.”

Compliments of Governor Cuomo