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Heather Leibowitz,
Environment New York

New York proposes new regional limit on global warming pollution, but more ambition needed

For Immediate Release

New York, NY- Today, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states announced a proposal to cut power plant pollution by at least 30 percent from 2020 to 2030. The proposal would strengthen what is already the best regional clean air and climate protection program in the country, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This program limits dangerous pollution from power plants in New York and across the region – helping to slow the warming of our planet and clean up our air. It also fuels investment in clean energy by making polluters pay to pollute.

Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York, issued the following statement in response:

“While the states are moving in a positive direction, this proposal falls short of what’s needed to truly tackle the climate crisis. We urge the leaders of these states to strengthen the proposal in the coming weeks, so that we can fully realize the promise of clean energy and demonstrate even more leadership on climate.  

"With every day, it becomes even more clear that the impacts of global warming are accelerating. 2016 was hotter than any previous year in human history, breaking records last set in 2015 and 2014. The Northeast is warming faster than any other region in the United States except for Alaska. We're feeling the effects – from severe drought taking its toll on the iconic dairy farms of New Hampshire, to stronger storms and hurricanes battering the Coney Island boardwalk.

"Globally, we must reduce emissions from all sources to zero – ideally within the next 25 years. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are in a position to do much more, and they should.  

"The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has been a huge success so far – proving that states can work together across geographic and partisan boundaries to reduce pollution, grow clean energy and deliver important benefits for everyone. (Our recent report, Doubling Down on Climate Progress, summarizes the benefits we’ve achieved, including cutting power plant pollution in half since 2005 and generating $2.7 billion for states to invest in
clean energy, energy efficiency, and consumer benefit programs.)

"We know RGGI works. Making the program more ambitious is the right thing to do. And we can take it even further than the states proposed today –cutting even more pollution, faster.

"We urge the governors of the nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to strengthen the proposal in the coming weeks, so that we can fully realize the promise of clean energy and demonstrate even more leadership on climate. Our climate can’t wait.”