Albany, NY...Late last evening, the State Senate and Assembly passed sweeping legislation to tackle accelerating climate change and set New York on a path to steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to a clean energy economy. State Senator Jen Metzger, who first began working to address climate change nearly 30 years ago and has a background in energy policy, was an active member of the Senate working group that developed the Senate's proposed amendments to the legislation, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CCPA). The legislation was introduced by the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committees, Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assembly Member Steve Englebright, and was the subject of three-way negotiations between the Senate, Assembly, and Governor.
The CCPA requires that the state generate 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with the goal of achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity generation by 2040. Greenhouse gas emissions, generated primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, are to be reduced economy-wide by 40 percent by 2040 and 85 percent by 2050. An additional 15 percent reduction is to be achieved through off-sets, for a total of 100 percent net reduction by mid-century. These targets are in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and are necessary for avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change.
“We are already seeing the consequences of just a one degree increase in global mean temperature from pre-industrial levels, including dramatic melting of the polar ice caps, more severe storms and more intense heat days, prolonged droughts, and other impacts" said Senator Jen Metzger. "If we want to leave the world a better place for our children, then we need to reset the course we are on. This nation-leading legislation puts us on a path to a clean energy economy that will create thousands of good-paying New York jobs, end our dependence on imported fossil fuels, and protect public health and the environment for generations to come."
“Thanks to Senator Metzger, Senator Kaminsky, Assemblyman Englebright and Governor Cuomo, we have a three-way agreement in place. This climate agreement is the capstone of a legislative session with a historic environmental focus.” said Jeremy Cherson, legislative advocacy manager for Riverkeeper. “It delivers one of the strongest climate plans in the world, thanks to the tireless work of citizen advocates, environmentalists, labor and environmental justice organizations.”
“The passage of the Climate and Community Protection Act represents a huge step forward for all New Yorkers in the fight against climate change, while ensuring the economic security and future of our communities,” said Andy Bicking, Director of Public Policy at Scenic Hudson. “Scenic Hudson extends its congratulations and praise to the Assembly, Senate and Governor Cuomo for successfully negotiating the legislation, and special appreciation to Senator Jen Metzger who secured important provisions in the law that relate to land use, local government, and greenhouse gas sequestration strategies to achieve its goal.”
"New Paltz Climate Action Coalition has done everything we can to urge passage of CCPA, including carpools to Albany, calls, letters, and forums with Senator Metzger,” explained Janelle Peotter, a member of the New Paltz Climate Action Coalition and the New Paltz Climate Smart Coordinator. “We are delighted that it will pass and is strengthened! With permafrost now melting 70 years earlier than predicted, we also urge New York and every state to pass "Freedom From Fossil Fuels" bills such as Senator Metzger has offered. It's a matter of life and death. The science is clear: we are in the sixth mass extinction event and we will face catastrophe if we do not act swiftly and robustly."
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.