It’s Friday, December 23, and New York state has a new roadmap to reach net-zero by 2050.

In New York state, a climate action plan approved this week lays out a sweeping series of actions that Governor Kathy Hochul and the Democrat-controlled Legislature can take to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with a previously enacted climate law.

“This plan serves as a bold, monumental achievement not just for New York state, but for the nation and the world,” Basil Seggos, a co-chair of the council that approved the plan and commissioner of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, said in a statement.

The 445-page “scoping plan” is intended to serve as a roadmap for the goals laid out in New York’s 2019 climate law, including neutralizing the state’s carbon emissions by 2050. Among its recommendations are for heat pumps to be installed in 1 to 2 million homes by 2030 and for the state to put roughly 3 million electric vehicles on the road within the same time frame. It also details strategies to decarbonize the power sector and endorses an economy-wide “cap-and-invest” program that would distribute tradable emissions permits to big polluters that collectively decline over time.

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Some of these initiatives will be expensive, but the new roadmap points to large pots of federal money that New York can take advantage of — most notably some $70 billion from this year’s Inflation Reduction Act. It estimates that achieving the goals of New York’s climate act will yield at least $115 billion in net benefits from improved public health and avoided damages from climate change, in addition to creating up to 211,000 jobs by 2030 and up to 318,000 by 2040.

Richard Schrader, New York legislative and policy director for the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council, said the scoping plan was a key step in the right direction but that more work will be needed to implement its recommendations and overcome well-funded opposition from the fossil fuel industry.

”Important and positive pieces are in place,” Schrader told me. “The next step is the political will to move forward on it.”

Editor’s note: Natural Resources Defense Council is an advertiser with Grist. Advertisers have no role in Grist’s editorial decisions.

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