Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Implementation Strategies Overview

On July 18, 2019 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which establishes targets for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable electricity production, and improving energy efficiency.  It was described as the most ambitious and comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the country when Cuomo signed the legislation.  In the past year strategies to implement this legislation have started to take shape and this post summarizes the strategies presented to the Climate Action Council at the last two meetings in 2020.  This is an overview post that puts the strategy material in one place. I will address the specific advisory panel strategies as time permits.

I am following the implementation of the CLCPA closely because its implementation affects my future as a New Yorker.  Given the cost impacts for other jurisdictions that have implemented renewable energy resources to meet targets at much less stringent levels, I am convinced that the costs in New York will be enormous and my analyses have supported that concern.  The opinions expressed in this post do not reflect the position of any of my previous employers or any other company I have been associated with, these comments are mine alone.


I have summarized the schedule, implementation components, and provide links to the legislation itself at CLCPA Summary Implementation Requirements.  Section § 75-0103 in the CLCPA establishes the New York state Climate Action Council (CAC). The CAC is charged with planning responsibility:

“The council shall on or before two years of the effective date of this article, prepare and approve a scoping plan outlining the recommendations for attaining the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits in accordance with the schedule established in section 75-0107 of this article, and for the reduction of emissions beyond eighty-five percent, net zero emissions in all sectors of the economy, which shall inform the state energy planning board’s adoption of a state energy plan in accordance with section 6-104 of the energy law. The first state energy plan issued subsequent to completion of the scoping plan required by this section shall incorporate the recommendations of the council. “

In order to “provide recommendations to the council on specific topics, in its preparation of the scoping plan, and interim updates to the scoping plan, and in fulfilling the council’s ongoing duties”, the CAC (§ 75-0103, 7) “shall convene advisory panels requiring special expertise and, at a minimum, shall establish advisory panels on transportation, energy intensive and trade-exposed industries, land-use and local government, energy efficiency and housing, power generation, and agriculture and forestry”.

CLCPA implementation was proscribed by the legislation.   In order to “provide recommendations to the council on specific topics, in its preparation of the scoping plan, and interim updates to the scoping plan, and in fulfilling the council’s ongoing duties”, the CAC (§ 75-0103, 7) “shall convene advisory panels requiring special expertise and, at a minimum, shall establish advisory panels on transportation, energy intensive and trade-exposed industries, land-use and local government, energy efficiency and housing, power generation, and agriculture and forestry”.  Once the process started it became clear that another panel covering waste would be needed.


During the last two Climate Action Council meetings the transportation, energy intensive and trade-exposed industries, land-use and local government, energy efficiency and housing, power generation, and agriculture and forestry advisory panels presented their strategies. Each strategy was presented in a slide that listed the rationale, equity considerations, potential implementation challenges, issues to explore, and additional thoughts. The waste panel started late and did not present a strategy in the same format.

In the following I list the strategies for each panel and link to an extracted copy of their presentation to the Climate Action Council.  You can also listen to their presentations and get the meeting power point slides for the 24 November 2020 and 15 December 2020 meetings where these strategies were presented.

Land Use and Local Government Advisory Panel

This advisory panel presented ten strategies from three subgroups.

      • Land Use Strategies
          • Promote and facilitate county and inter-municipal smart growth planning efforts, including focusing development in priority growth centers
          • Build capacity at the regional level and provide support to municipalities to promote smart growth, facilitate clean energy siting, and reduce vehicle miles traveled
          • Promote coordinated regional approaches to meet climate goals while integrating transportation, housing, and land conservation needs
          • Streamline and incentivize Smart Growth project review
          • Coordinate State planning funds/activities/entities to ensure that transportation, housing, and conservation actions are not in conflict and achieve VMT, clean energy, and equity goals
      • Clean Energy Strategies
          • Establish statewide higher energy codes, benchmarking, building performance mandates, and PACE Financing to avoid a patchwork of policies.
          • Encourage local governments to initiate CCA programs and community campaigns to increase local access to clean energy products and services.
          • Overcome legal, financial, regulatory, and technical barriers to greening municipal building, facilities, and fleets
      • Adaptation and Resilience Strategies
          • Develop policies, programs and resources to reduce risks associated with acute climate hazards
          • Seek to ensure State and local investments assess climate change and resiliency impacts of projects

Energy Efficiency and Housing

This advisory panel presented 16 strategies in six categories.

      • Mandates that require energy efficiency improvements and on-site emissions in building and appliance with dates as market signal
          • Expand State energy & building codes (w/date signals) -> transition to electrification & building efficiency;
          • Modify State Appliance Standards (e.g. ban fossil fuel appliances sale/install.). Consider building performance standards for large buildings to meet 2050 & interim targets –focus on onsite emissions.
      • Financing and incentives for building efficiency and electrification at scale
          • Inducing market/behavioral change (e.g. taxes, registration fees, carbon levies) that incentivize market providers (owners, developers, lenders etc.) & residents to reduce emissions & transition to electrification;
          • Shift lenders to quantify energy efficiency in single/multifamily/commercial (e.g. underwriting to savings);
          • Financial incentives for owners, developers and residents (e.g. cash incentives, pay as you save, low-interest financing, more agile of existing programs to get to 2050 and interim targets, etc), with emphasis on LMI.
      • Training and education of building decarbonization to improve behavior and operations for health and comfort and build workforce (enabling strategy)
          • Workforce development to provide skilled pros to design, build, operate, & enforce decarbonized building stock;
          • Education -owners, developers, design professionals and other stakeholders: resources on capital planning, all-electric buildings, electrification-ready, etc. Mandatory energy performance disclosures & building consumption data (public facing); certified product declarations for materials/equipment; etc.
          • Education-residents/businesses: performance, econ., environmental quality, O&M for low-carbon tech.
      • Technology innovation and demonstration to drive better performance, reduce costs, and increase customer confidence
          • R&D to improve cost/performance of solutions for all-electric buildings (e.g., cold climate heat pumps, geothermal, etc.)
          • R&D & demon. for hard-to-electrify buildings (e.g., on district steam, steam-heated, hydronic distribution) & advance scalable solutions & potential cost reductions (e.g., community geothermal, industrialized fabric/modular, virtual tools);
          • De-risking demos to help critical customer groups who make lack access to resources/info (e.g., coops/condos);
          • Approaches to reducing embodied carbon (e.g. new tech to reduce GHG emissions from materials/construction/transp.)
      • Resilience and climate adaptation strategies for all-electric building, hazard mitigation planning and building retrofits
          • Supporting/coordinating improved resiliency solutions for all-electric building & resilient spaces for vulnerable pops.;
          • Grid and transmission resilience and independence;
          • Electrification paired with supplemental heating sources;
          • Improving building stock to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Agriculture and Forestry

This advisory panel presented 12 strategies in six categories.

      • Livestock/Dairy Management
          • Alternative Manure Management
          • Precision Feed Management
      • Soil Health and Nutrient Management
          • Nutrient (Fertilizer) Management
    • Soil Carbon Sequestration
      • Agroforestry
          • Silvopasture, Alley Cropping, and Riparian Forest Buffers
      • Land Conversions
          • Agricultural Protection and Access
          • No Net Loss of Forestland
      • Forestry:
          • Urban Forestry
          • Statewide Afforestation/Reforestation Efforts
          • Improved Forest Management
          • Increase Manufacture and Use of Harvested Wood Products
      • Bioeconomy
          • Support opportunities to substitute fossil fuels


This advisory panel presented six strategies in four categories.

      • Transportation Electrification
          • Adopt regulatory approaches and supporting policies to increase the sale of M/HD ZEVs to 30% by 2030 and the sale of LD ZEVs to 100% by 2035, and require greater use of ZEV non-road vehicles.
      • Clean Fuels
          • Adopt a market-based approach and supporting policies to increase the availability and affordability of clean transportation fuels (renewable biofuels, green hydrogen, electricity) in NYS.
      • Public Transportation
          • Identify policies and programs that would double the availability/accessibility of upstate and downstate suburban public transportation services statewide by 2035;
    • Identify policies and programs to support system reliability/network expansion projects identified by MTA in their twenty-year needs study.
      • Smart Growth and Transportation System Efficiency
          • Transportation-Oriented Development—Align roadway, residential and commercial development to be proximate and accessible to public transportation and consider holistic GHG emissions in smart growth developments;
          • Low-and Zero-Carbon Transportation Modes—Expand access to low-or zero-carbon transportation modes (biking, walking, carpooling) for first mile/last mile connections to transit and destinations.

Power Generation

This panel presented ten strategies in four categories

      • Equity
          • Community Impact–Develop recommendations to identify and proactively address community impacts relating to health concerns, access to renewables and energy efficiency, and siting
          • Access and Affordability for all (Enabling) –Develop recommendations to ensure New Yorkers have access and can afford to participate meaningfully in NYS’s clean energy future
          • Workforce Development (Enabling) –Develop recommendations to enable an equitable clean energy workforce
      • Barriers
          • Clean Energy Siting
          • Energy Delivery & Hosting Capacity
      • Solutions for the Future
          • Technology and Research Needs
          • Market Solutions –Maximize the market participation of different technologies in a way that adds to system efficiency & send correct price signals to resources over time
      • Resource Mix
          • Growth of renewable generation and Energy Efficiency
          • Effectively Transitioning away from Fossil Fuel Energy Generation
          • Deploying Energy Storage and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)

Energy-Intensive and Trade-Exposed Industries

This panel presented 12 strategies in six categories.

      • Provide financial incentives and technical assistance for the decarbonization of the EIETE sectors
          • Provide technical assistance to help identify economically viable decarbonization pathways and to provide comprehensive energy management planning
          • Provide financial incentives for decarbonization projects
          • Refer economic assistance recipients to resources that will result in lower-emitting projects
          • Leverage low-cost hydropower to provide support for industry
      • Create incentives for business to capitalize on low-carbon economy opportunities
          • Create preferential standards for the public procurement of low-carbon building materials
      • Identify and support technological innovations to enable deep industrial decarbonization
          • Develop a comprehensive Innovation Roadmap to address knowledge gaps and to guide key priorities for deep decarbonization investment in the areas of carbon-tech, low-carbon fuels, and carbon removal
          • R&D funding for early stage decarbonization technologies
          • Demonstration pilot funding for high impact solutions in coordination with private market
          • Identify potential for innovation clusters to leverage supply chains and infrastructure for novel solutions
      • Workforce development training to support energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries
          • Provide workforce development on existing and new innovative emission reduction technologies that effect EITE industries
      • Increase the available data on industrial GHG emissions to help prioritize efforts and monitor progress
          • Expand the universe of industrial facilities that are required to report on their GHG emissions.
      • Provide economic incentives to grow the green economy
          • Leverage the State’s climate policies to develop an in-state supply chain of green economy companies by engaging in business development discussions and offering incentives through programs such as NYSTAR, NY Ventures and Excelsior Tax Credits.


Now the implementation work begins.  There is an enormous amount of information in these strategies.  In the first place consider that the six advisory panels presented a total of 66 strategies in 29 categories:

        • Land Use and Local Government Advisory Panel: ten strategies in three categories
        • Energy Efficiency and Housing: 16 strategies in six categories.
        • Agriculture and Forestry: 12 strategies in six categories.
        • Transportation: six strategies in four categories
        • Power Generation: ten strategies in four categories
        • Energy-Intensive and Trade-Exposed Industries: 12 strategies in six categories.

Given that many strategies I believe the first task is to start to rank the importance of the strategies.  But in order to do that the Climate Action Council has to establish its priorities.  Is it to maintain reliability and affordability of the energy supply, is it meet the CLCPA emission reduction targets, or is it equity for all?

Someone, somewhere will need to summarize these strategies so they can be ranked by the importance criteria established by the Council.  Despite the massive amount of information there still are many things missing.   For example, technological feasibility, GHG reduction potential, and most importantly to me, costs are all will be needed.  Stay tuned.

Author: rogercaiazza

I am a meteorologist (BS and MS degrees), was certified as a consulting meteorologist and have worked in the air quality industry for over 40 years. I author two blogs. Environmental staff in any industry have to be pragmatic balancing risks and benefits and ( reflects that outlook. The second blog addresses the New York State Reforming the Energy Vision initiative ( Any of my comments on the web or posts on my blogs are my opinion only. In no way do they reflect the position of any of my past employers or any company I was associated with.

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