Campaign for 100% Clean Energy by 2030
Memo of Support – Clean Energy (A7497 / S5527)
Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth. Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing and sea levels are rising.
New York is already feeling the impact from the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather. The state’s 2014 Draft Energy Plan documented that the costs to New York from Hurricane Sandy were over $32 billion and predicted that the annual damage costs from climate change will be $10 billion. NYC is one of the most vulnerable cities on the planet to climate change. There are more than 3,500 excess deaths in NYS annually from air pollution from fossil fuels, increasing health care costs by more than $22 billion annually.
Given the growing threat of global climate change and the impacts that current energy systems and burning fossil fuels have in contributing to this, the state must take a stand in stopping our contribution to climate change. This bill establishes a goal of achieving a one hundred percent clean energy system by two thousand thirty, with zero net greenhouse emissions. Over seventy groups have called for the requirement for New York State to transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.
Green energy is the path to full employment and lower energy rates. A study by Stanford (Jacobson) and Cornell professors show that it is technologically feasible for NY to transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 while creating 4.5 million jobs (280,000 40-year jobs). Electric rates would be over 50% lower compared to continued reliance upon fossil fuels.
New York needs to invest in energy conservation, energy reduction, wind, solar and geothermal (e.g., heat pumps) not oil, gas, coal, natural gas, fossil fuel infrastructure, or nukes. The state has taken some important steps (stopping fracking, supporting renewables) – but much more is needed. The Jacobson plan obtains half of the electricity from wind and a third from solar. The plan includes energy conservation, reduction and efficiency. The plan includes all energy, including transportation
The biggest obstacles to going to 100% clean energy are political and economic power, not energy technology. Fossil fuel companies wish to maintain their profits and market share, as does Wall Street. Solving climate change requires energy democracy, changing the political and economic system that promotes unsustainable development and energy use.
This bill would require the state energy planning board to conduct a study to determine the measures necessary to achieve a one hundred percent clean energy system by two thousand thirty. The plan would include, in five year increments, detailed benchmarks and steps required to achieve the goal of one hundred percent clean renewable energy systems by two thousand thirty. It would also incorporate measured related to reduction in energy use, increased energy conservation, and improvements in energy efficiency.
We need to eliminate carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases (e.g., methane), not just increase renewables. We must stop investing in fossil fuel infrastructure now; once we built it, we will use it for decades. All new infrastructure must directly support the transition to renewable energy.
The Campaign for 100% Clean Energy urges adoption of this legislation.
c/o Green Education and Legal Fund, gelfny.org