NEW YORK -- Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation Tuesday aimed at addressing climate change, from bringing more energy efficiency to homes to promising certain trades don't get left behind in the transition.
CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas takes a closer look at the impact.
With climate change posing a real and present danger, Hochul says new laws takes New York state even further in addressing the threat.
"These bills will take a major step forward in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions as well as advance our clean energy industry in our state," Hochul said.
The new laws include:
- Updating building codes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy and water efficiency standards for appliances
- Allowing utilities to create more efficient heating and cooling strategies that reduce fossil fuel usage
- Filling solar panel jobs with union workers who will be paid a prevailing wage
It's a compromise between labor, climate justice advocates, and industries that are not always on the same page.
"It will provide a just transition for thousands of middle class New Yorkers who were at risk of being excluded from the green energy transition," said John Murphy of the United Association of Journeyman & Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry.
The changes come after the Supreme Court ruled to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to strictly regulate emissions from power plants -- a move seen as a blow to the fight against climate change. Cline-Thomas asked the governor if it sets a precedent for new statewide policies to be challenged.
"We are not deviating from our goal to make sure we lean into the future. Regardless of what happens with the Supreme Court and the EPA, it will not affect what we do here," Hochul said.
From cutting utility costs to providing green jobs, urgency is mounting to make a change, although it will take years before the new legislation even begins to make an impact.
New York state has a mandated goal of reaching economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.
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