New York adopts new policy to further reduce gas emissions from power sector


Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor of New York state, has announced the adoption of a new regulation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the electricity sector.

The regulation, which had already been adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, strengthens the state’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The RGGI is the nation’s first regional programme designed to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector.

The regulation advances New York’s portion of the 30% regional cap reduction from 2021 to 2030, ensuring that regional emissions are 65% below the starting cap level by 2030 compared to 2009 levels.

The new regulation will align New York’s cap with the other participating RGGI states.

New York state has set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 by adopting the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

Another key change to the RGGI programme is the creation of the Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR.) This is a new feature designed to ensure additional carbon dioxide emissions reductions by auctioning fewer allowances in the event the cost of such reductions is less than anticipated. The regulations also simplify the programme and ensure that reductions from power plants continue by removing all offset categories except for emissions from livestock operations.  

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Governor Cuomo, said: “The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative not only set the standard for climate leadership during the last decade but also set the stage for New York’s landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“Reducing the RGGI cap will lower greenhouse gas emissions even further, all while providing valuable resources to expand our clean energy economy. New York has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and we will continue help push the nation forward towards a cleaner future.”

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, adds: “The first-of-its-kind, lead-by-example RGGI programme is a textbook example of how we can tackle the climate crisis while boosting our economy.”

NYSERDA acting president and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “These regulations not only strengthen New York’s on-going commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions, but they go one step further to ensure that disadvantaged communities will also benefit – which is a priority of Governor Cuomo and is in accordance with the Climate Act. As we continue to move forward with the State’s nation-leading clean energy transition, it’s imperative that we continue to implement regulations and policies that are in the best interests of all New Yorkers.”