NY lawmakers approve sweeping climate bill aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

NY lawmakers approve sweeping climate bill aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
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New York's state legislature passed a sweeping climate bill this week that aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) plans to sign it.

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was approved the state Senate on Tuesday and by the state Assembly on Wednesday after four years of being rejected by the upper chamber.

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Cuomo's office told The Hill Thursday that he is expected to sign the bill soon.

"With the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York has enacted the most aggressive climate change legislation in the nation," Cuomo said in a statement. 

"Ignoring climate change leaves our children to deal with its catastrophic consequences. As Washington turns a blind eye and rolls back decades of environmental protections, New York turns to a future of net zero emissions."

Once the legislation is signed, New York will begin working toward lowering carbon emissions.

The "net" part of net-zero emissions target means that up to 15 percent of carbon emissions reductions can come from carbon offsets like agriculture or forestry rather than New York's own energy and industrial emissions.

The plan does not set a mechanism for reaching net-zero emissions, instead creating a council tasked with doing so.