New York to end all coal-fired power by 2020

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New York State has proposed strict new carbon dioxide standards which will lead to coal plants having to change the way they operate, or close down.

New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, made the announcement last week, calling coal “a relic of the past”.

The move forms part of Governor Cuomo’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 40 percent by 2030. It also follows through on a pledge he made in 2016 to restrict coal use across the state.

The Department of Environmental Conservation published the new rulings last week, which limit all coal plants to producing no more than 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity generated.

"While Washington continues an open assault on our environment, New York is leading the charge with bold climate action to protect our future," the Governor said.

"…It's time to step up, take action, and put an end to our need for fossil fuels and focus on cleaner, more green energy solutions for the survival of our planet and future generations," he added.

The regulations remain open to consultation for the next two months and three public hearings will be held on the matter.

However, New York only has two remaining active coal plants in the state, accounting for a fraction of its electricity use.

"New York is a leader in the fight against climate change with significant investments to protect our environment," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We're enhancing our infrastructure across the state and pursuing projects that promote cleaner and greener energy options for our communities and residents."  

Governor Cuomo has made increasingly strong commitments on climate change and the low-carbon economy. Along with targets on carbon emissions, the state now aims to source 50 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2030. This will be partly achieved by a huge planned expansion in new offshore wind power.

Photo Credit: Seabamirum/Flickr

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