NY lawmakers end session without major environmental progress

By Marie J. French | 06/20/2024 01:14 PM EDT

Environmentalists blamed Assembly Democrats for failing to tackle major bills to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires casts a haze over New York City.

Lawmakers left Albany without any significant measures to reduce emissions and achieve the targets of the state's landmark climate law passed five years ago. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

ALBANY, New York — Lawmakers returned to their districts this month with few significant environmental wins to campaign on — the latest sign that reducing emissions and achieving climate law mandates remain elusive.

Upon concluding its annual session this month, the Legislature failed to pass any major elements of the state’s plan to slash emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Elected officials left the Capitol without acting on sweeping bills to reduce plastic packaging, begin plans to transition buildings off gas and mitigate vehicle traffic.

And their inaction will have political consequences.


A new climate-focused independent expenditure fund plans to spend about $20,000 opposing two Assembly Democrats and backing their progressive challengers as a result.