New York state lawmakers passed one of the world’s most ambitious laws aimed at countering climate change, under which fossil fuel power plants and gasoline cars will be phased out by 2050.
The new law, known as the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, is emblematic of a growing movement among the American left toward the principles of a so-called “Green New Deal” that would fundamentally reshape the US economy and create green jobs.
The Goal – 20 years 100% Renewable
The goal is a 85% reduction in overall greenhouse emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The remaining 15 percent of emissions may be offset in order to achieve a net of zero through, for example, carbon sinks including reforestation efforts.
Over the next three decades, most fossil fuel burning thermal plants will need to shut down and vehicles would need to produce zero emissions—effectively spelling an end to gasoline and diesel cars on the road.
New York has set an intermediate goal of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
By 2040, 100 percent of the state’s electricity generation will be renewable—an area where it has already made significant strides. Its current energy mix is 28 percent nuclear, 16 percent hydro-electric, and 35 percent natural gas.
The Trump side
But the move came as President Donald Trump’s administration finalized a rollback of an Obama-era plan to cut harmful emissions from coal plants.
Moreover, Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord in the first year of his presidency and has set about systematically dismantling environmental regulations put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama.