Thursday, August 6, 2009

Paterson Signs Executive Order to Reduce New York’s GHG Pollution

The Eagle received the following press release:

Governor David A. Paterson signed Executive Order No. 24 setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York State by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050.

The Executive Order also creates a Climate Action Council with a directive to prepare a draft Climate Action Plan by September 30, 2010. The Climate Action Plan will assess how all economic sectors can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, as well as identify the extent to which such actions support New York’s goals for a clean energy economy.

“Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue of our time. By taking action, we send a signal that New Yorkers will do our share to address the climate crisis and we will do it in a way that creates opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish,” said Governor Paterson. “One way we will achieve this goal is by focusing our efforts on a clean energy economy that will create jobs for New Yorkers.”

Governor Paterson has already taken a number of steps to address the climate crisis in New York through innovative, cost-effective policies and programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), stricter automobile greenhouse gas emission standards and the “45 by 15” program for expanding efficiency measures and renewable energy. State programs and incentives are working in concert with federal efforts to increase the use of clean energy technologies and to promote emission reductions.

Future climate change will impose significant economic burdens on New York. Heat-related mortality in the New York City metropolitan region could increase by 47 to 95 percent when compared to 1990 levels. New York’s public drinking water supplies may also be compromised by changes in temperature and precipitation. In addition, a warmer climate will adversely affect the state’s crucial dairy production and crops, including grain, apples and potatoes, resulting in a potential increase in the cost of food.

Though it is anticipated that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be paramount, the Climate Action Plan will also include adaptation measures that will safeguard people, the environment and our infrastructure from expected climatic changes.

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