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Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Limiting Future Impacts of Climate Change

Sources of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in New York

Efforts over the past decade to reduce emissions from the power sector have made New York's electricity some of the cleanest in the nation, and now transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York.

The State is also working to reduce GHG emissions (including methane and hydrofluorocarbons) from buildings, food waste, and other sources outside the power and transportation sectors.

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 establishes certain emission reduction limits as well as additional goals to address climate change. These requirements and goals include:

  • Limit statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% by 2050
  • A plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across New York State's economy
  • 70% renewable electricity by 2030
  • 100% zero emission electricity by 2040

Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emission Limit Rulemaking

DEC is proposing a new 6 NYCRR Part 496, Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits. The proposed rule adopts limits on the emission of greenhouse gases in 2030 and 2050, as a percentage of 1990 emissions, per the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It applies to all emission sources in the State, but the rule does not itself impose compliance obligations. Written public comments will be accepted through October 27, 2020.

Review the current proposed rulemaking here: Proposed Part 496, Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits

Notice of Public Webinar on the Value of Carbon

DEC hosted an informational public webinar to discuss the development of a value of carbon guidance for State agencies. The webinar provided the public the opportunity to learn and ask questions.

DEC is required to establish a value of carbon for use by State agencies per Article 75 of the Environmental Conservation Law, as amended by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). During this webinar, staff discussed the requirements for establishing a value of carbon, how a value of carbon is estimated using both a damages and a marginal abatement approach, key considerations, and examples of how a value of carbon may be used by State agencies.

View the recording:

Download the slides: Value of Carbon Webinar Slides

Comments and questions can be sent to

Transportation Sector

The transportation sector is the source of approximately 36 percent of New York's greenhouse gas emissions and growing. The state is tackling transportation sector emissions by supporting electric vehicles and associated infrastructure, investing in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, reducing congestion, and upgrading and expanding public transportation systems.

Examples of New York State's nation-leading initiatives to reduce transportation emissions include (links leave DEC website) the following:

  • New York is the founding member of the Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding of 2013 and the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan in 2014.
  • New York is implementing the most aggressive vehicle emission standards allowed by law, including a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate.
  • New York met and exceeded the Charge NY electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure program goal of installing 3,000 publicly accessible chargers by the end of 2018, and is on pace to meet the new goal of 10,000 chargers by the end of 2021.
  • Programs being implemented by New York include the New York Power Authority's EVolve program, which will provide $240 million for EV charging statewide, and the Public Service Commissions' approval of a new rate structure that will provide $32 million in incentives to encourage high speed chargers.
  • NYSERDA's Drive Clean NY program is providing point-of-sale incentives of up to $2,000 for an EV purchase.
  • DEC's ZEV Clean Vehicle and Infrastructure Rebate Program provides incentives to municipalities of up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles and up to $250,000 for the installation of charging infrastructure.
  • DEC's Clean Transportation New York plan for investment of funding from the Volkswagen settlement will spend over $127 million on transitioning the transportation sector to electricity and other cleaner technologies.
  • New York State annually provides $5.9 billion in direct and indirect assistance to transit, supporting 2.8 billion passenger trips provided by more than 130 public transportation agencies across the State. New York State accounts for 1 in 3 transit trips in the nation.
  • The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) manages nearly $200 million per year in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding that is invested in projects that reduce emissions from highways, transit and railroads.
  • DOT's Transportation Demand Management programs have reduced or avoided more than 7 million trips, accounting for more than 300 million vehicle miles of travel from 2010 to 2018. This has avoided nearly 125,000 metrics tons of carbon dioxide.
  • New York City will implement the nation's first congestion pricing program.

Stakeholder Conversations on Transportation and Climate

In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed DEC and New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to participate in stakeholder meetings across the state to seek public input on potential strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. More than 550 stakeholders participated in 8 meetings in New York State and identified dozens of strategies to consider. In addition, New York agency staff participated in other regional meetings organized by the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a collaboration of 12 states and the District of Columbia to reduce transportation emissions. These meetings highlighted potential economic opportunities, as well as social and health benefits to be gained from reducing transportation emissions and investing in a clean and resilient transportation future.

Seeking Input

DEC, DOT, and NYSERDA are seeking input regarding New York State's potential participation in a regional program that seeks to reduce emissions, boost the economy, improve public health, and achieve fair and equitable outcomes for underserved communities and transportation-related businesses.

The states participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative have released a Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement a regional cap and invest program to transition to a more sustainable, resilient, low carbon transportation sector. Initial projections of the potential economic and public health benefits such a program could achieve will be available here. We invite the public to submit comments by February 28, 2020 via the TCI portal input form. The MOU and background materials are available on the TCI policy design process page.

In addition, New York State is conducting public meetings to solicit input on the policy framework, as well as on our potential participation in regional policy. A public meeting was held at DEC's headquarters at 625 Broadway, Albany, NY on August 15, 2019. Download the agenda from the first workshop (PDF) and the presentation on "Key Elements of a Potential Regional Approach to Transportation and Climate" (PDF).

Watch this page for meeting announcements and additional opportunities to provide input as DEC considers policies to reduce greenhouse gases from transportation in New York and across the region. You can also sign up to receive news on climate change issues at DEC Delivers. Questions can be directed to or 518-402-2794.

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Other Greenhouse Gases


Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in landfills. In New York, the Methane Reduction Plan (PDF) outlines actions the state will implement to reduce methane emissions. New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Agriculture and Markets, Public Service, and the Energy Research and Development Authority, in conjunction with the Soil and Water Conservation Committee, are implementing these actions.

The plan will address many sources of methane emissions including:

  • Pursue methane reductions at both active and inactive landfills;
  • Limit methane emissions from new and existing equipment in the oil and gas infrastructure;
  • Support energy production or capture and combustion of methane gas at farms and landfills;
  • Develop methane reduction criteria in state funding programs for agriculture;
  • Deploy methane detection systems to enhance detection of leaks in residential areas; and
  • Utilize incentive programs for addressing methane leakage in utility and customer-owned pipelines that prioritize safety and climate change mitigation.

These actions work in concert with ongoing activities to promote the reduction and recycling of food waste, and the Climate Resilient Farming Program (leaves DEC website) through the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

The United Nations reports that 98% of ozone-depleting substances have been phased out of usage worldwide since the ratification of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, however, these substances are being replaced primarily by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), some of which are extremely potent greenhouse gases. Global HFC emissions are currently rising 10-15% annually and the USEPA considers HFCs to be the fastest growing source of GHG emissions in the United States. New York is working to inventory and develop appropriate policies to manage and reduce HFC emissions along with our partners in the US Climate Alliance.

Review the current proposed rulemaking here: Proposed Part 494, Hydrofluorocarbon Standards and Reporting.

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