New Tool Monitors Implementation of Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School has launched a new tool tracking the implementation of the New York Climate Action Council (CAC)’s recommendations in the Scoping Plan for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
The CLCPA—New York’s ambitious climate law signed in 2019—called on the CAC to issue a plan for the achievement of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. The final plan, which was released by the CAC in December 2022, serves as a “framework for how New York will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy use, and ensure all communities equitably benefit in the clean energy transition.”
The Sabin Center’s new CLCPA Scoping Plan Tracker catalogs the CAC’s 129 recommendations and monitors New York’s progress toward implementing them. Fifty-nine of the recommendations are directed at the New York State legislature, while the other 70 require regulatory action by executive agencies. With so many actions required by so many different bodies involved, it can be difficult to keep track of progress. The CLCPA Scoping Plan Tracker is intended to help with that. By compiling the recommendations into a sortable database, the tracker serves as a tool for exploring the content of the Scoping Plan and understanding progress and shortcomings in its implementation over the next several years.
For each recommendation in the Scoping Plan, the tracker provides a summary of the CAC’s recommendation, identifies the entity responsible for implementing it, and displays the implementation status. Each recommendation is marked as “pending” (meaning no action has been taken toward implementation), “in progress” (meaning some steps have been taken to implement the recommendation) or “complete” (indicating that the recommendation has been fully implemented). Where the CAC has provided a suggested timeline for a given policy change, that is noted in the “Date” column. For each entry in the tracker, users can click through from the “Action” column to a page providing more detail on the recommendation, including the recommendation’s location in the Scoping Plan and the verbatim language of the CAC’s recommendation.
Many of the Scoping Plan’s regulatory recommendations are directed at the New York Energy Research and Development Authority, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of State, or Public Service Commission, but the Plan also includes recommendations for the Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, and a number of other agencies. In addition to the 129 recommendations for new legislation or regulation, the plan includes hundreds of recommendations for the development of new policy initiatives and programs. These programmatic recommendations are not included in the tracker.
Although the Scoping Plan was published only six months ago, progress is already underway on several recommendations. In December 2022, the Digital Fair Repair Act was signed into law, implementing the CAC’s recommendation that the legislature require manufacturers to provide the information necessary to enable consumers to repair damaged products themselves or through third-party technicians. In the current legislative session, members of the senate and assembly have introduced at least 13 bills addressing recommendations from the plan. Regulatory proposals addressing another 10 recommendations are also under consideration.
“New York’s climate law is one of the strongest in the world. Implementing it involved enormous efforts by federal, state and local agencies and the private sector. Our tracker will help everyone see where we are in fulfilling the climate law’s promise,” said Professor Michael Gerrard, faculty director of the Sabin Center.
Andrea Nishi, the Sabin Center’s Climate Justice Fellow, led the creation of the tracker. The Sabin Center would like to thank Sophie Patka and Timo Rautiainen for their assistance in developing this resource.
Andrea Nishi is the Climate Justice Fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.