How Local Governments Can Phase Out Coal

This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his state of the state address, announced an ambitious new plan to slash fossil fuel emissions in the state, and reinvest in renewables. The aim of the plan is to quickly phase out coal power generation, and replace it with green energy—like solar and wind. It is incumbent upon mayors to push regional and state leaders to follow the example being set by these climate leaders.

New York has long been a leader in advancing climate solutions, and this new policy marks yet another important step forward. The Governor, and more specifically, the communities directly adjacent to coal-fired power plants, expect to see immediate benefits from the transition to renewables. These include economic benefits, new high paying jobs, a cleaner community for families and children, and a decrease in the health risks associated with coal pollutants.

New York’s commitment to transition away from coal by 2020 marks an extremely ambitious plan by state and local leaders. By proposing bold action and aggressively working for their implementation, these climate leaders are ensuring a more robust economy in renewables, better paying and stable jobs, healthier communities for families, and a cleaner climate. These are selling points that cut across party lines, and are political winners. What is required is taking that first step and committing to act on climate. Mayors must push regional and state leaders to follow the example of New York, and phase out coal in their state. To find out how to get started, check out the resources, and join with other leaders, at Path to Positive Communities!

NY gov aims to phase out coal by 2020

By Devin Henry | The Hill | January 13, 2016

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday he aims to phase out coal-fired power plants in the state by 2020.

Cuomo announced the goal in his state of the state address, pushing to bring more green energy to New York and reduce its carbon pollution.

“We will help the few remaining coal plants transition but we must clean our air and protect our health and that must be our first priority,” he said.

New York only gets about 1.3 percent of its electricity from coal, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. Greens and Democrats welcomed his Wednesday pledge to zero that figure out.

“Today, Gov. Cuomo has shifted New York’s focus from the energy of the past to the energy of the future,” Lisa Dix, the New York senior director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, said in a statement.

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