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Cuomo touts aggressive climate control plan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday touted a climate change meant to reduce carbon emissions and shift the state renewable energy sources within the next several decades.

The measure includes the requirement that the Department of Environmental Conservation publish regulations aimed at achieving a 85 percent decline in greenhouse gas levels from 1990 levels by 2050.

Cuomo called the measure “the most aggressive in the country” on the issue.

“I think the legislation as drafted, and if it proceeds as drafted, I think it’s clearly going to be the best law in the nation,” he said in an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “Ambitious, aggressive yes. But we’re talking about 2050. The 30 years is a long period of time. If you listen to the climate change scientists, 30 years is a lifetime of difference. So yes it’s aggressive but I don’t think that we have a realistic option.”

NY Renews, a coalition of environmental, social justice and labor groups was less enthusiastic with the program bill, pointing to concerns about how far it would go.

While the bill does set mandates for deep emissions cuts, including a zero emissions target for the electric sector, we are deeply concerned that changes in the legislative language over the versions of the bill will weaken the bill’s original intent to directly invest resources in vulnerable communities,” the group said.

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