NY Governor announces major climate & jobs initiative

Following the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the Clean Climate Careers initiative. The initiative is a multi-pronged strategy to grow New York’s emerging clean energy economy and prepare the workforce for the long-term careers associated with this industry.

Governor Cuomo’s initiative will accelerate renewable-energy growth and clean-climate careers, with up to a $1.5 billion investment and the intent of upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.

In partnership with the ILR School’s Worker Institute at Cornell University and Climate Jobs NY, this initiative focuses on accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy growth to make New York a magnet for new energy technologies and creating 40,000 new, good-paying clean energy jobs by 2020.

Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order to commit New York to uphold the standards set forth in the Paris Accord and announced a U.S. Climate Alliance, along with California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay R. Inslee, to convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.

“As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to address climate change — at the expense of our environment and economy — New York is leading the nation in advancing a clean energy future,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Clean Climate Careers initiative is a groundbreaking investment, representing the largest state clean energy procurement in U.S. history. With this $1.8 billion initiative, New York continues to tackle the challenges of climate change and create the high-quality, good-paying careers of tomorrow.”

As part of the first phase of the Clean Climate Careers initiative, New York State will make an unprecedented investment of up to $1.5 billion in major renewable energy projects, including wind and solar power, and significantly expand energy efficiency and solar installations at public buildings. The investment will result in an additional 2.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year, representing the largest clean energy procurement by a state in U.S. history.

The Clean Climate Careers initiative is a bold, three-pronged strategy that connects investment in clean energy technologies with the industry’s good-paying, quality jobs:

  1. Investing in Clean Tech and Supercharging Renewable Energy Development: Making record investments in renewable energy to meet Governor Cuomo’s ambitious Clean Energy Standard target of achieving 50% of electricity from renewables by 2030 – and as a result New York is poised to double the State’s solar capacity from roughly 800 MW today to more than 1600 MW by the end of 2018.
  2. Creating Clean Climate Careers: Making historic investment of up to $1.5 billion in major renewable energy projects will create thousands of well-paying jobs for middle class New Yorkers across the State, while providing funding to train our workforce for lifetime careers in building efficiency, renewable energy, and other low-carbon sectors.
  3. Advancing Environmental Justice: Establishing an Environmental Justice & Just Transition Working Group to develop priority programs and policies to help historical underserved communities – and those navigating the retirement of carbon-intensive energy plants – prepare for a cleaner, greener future.

A Working Group will advise the administration on the integration of environmental justice and just transition principles into all agency policies, and to shape environmental justice programs identified in State of the State and inform what work products would assist in this effort. The first Working Group session will convene in June.

“The extent of the state’s new commitment for renewable resources is several orders of magnitude greater than anything we’ve seen before in our state,” said Richard L. Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York. “Under Governor Cuomo, New York is following through on his commitment to combat climate change and spur the transition to a clean energy economy that creates good-paying jobs. Under REV, we are building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.”

A list of the Working Group members can be found here.​ Read more about NY’s climate commitment here.

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