Inside Governor Cuomo’s new CLCPA Advisory Panels and Groups

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) is the ambitious legislation enacted with the goal of reducing New York state emissions to net zero. Austin Law created an easy guide to help you get involved meaningfully. This is one of four articles in Unbuilt Labs’ Research Package “New York’s Green New Deal” by Austin Law.

1. Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA): The primary piece of legislation enacted with the goal of reducing New York state emissions to net zero and an 80% reduction of 1990 greenhouse gas levels by the year 2050.

Groups Established Under the CLCPA

5. Climate Action Council: The 22-member council tasked with preparing and, updating every five years, a scoping plan of recommendations to achieve the CLCPA’s goals. This Council is composed of heads of various agencies and is co-chaired by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation and the President of the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority. The Council members receive no compensation for their services and are each entitled to one vote; a supermajority is required for any actions taken by the Council. Lastly, the Council receives recommendations from its advisory panels, the Just Transition Working Group, Environmental Justice Advisory Group, and public hearings.

6. Climate Justice Working Group: The working group tasked with establishing a criterion to define and identify disadvantaged communities. This group is composed of representatives from environmental justice communities, the Department of Health, the NYS Energy and Research Development Authority, and Department of Labor.

State Agencies

2. Department of Environmental Conservation: New York State’s department tasked with (1) promulgating statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit according to the Council’s scoping plan; and (2) prioritizing measures to reduce emissions in disadvantaged communities. The Department will use their rule-making power to implement council recommendations and baseline emission limits (the proposal for statewide emissions limit is to be released for public comment in August 2020).

3. Department of State Utility Intervention Unit: The unit responsible for representing consumers before administrative agencies in regulation of energy, water, and telecommunication services.

4. Federally designated electric bulk systems operator: A Quasi-government non profit agency that operates the NYS bulk electricity grid and administers state’s wholesale electricity markets.

7. Department of Health and Labor: The Department of Health and Labor will serve as a consultant to the Climate Justice Working Group in stabling a criterion to identify disadvantaged communities. The CLCPA states no further responsibilities from this department. 

8. New York State Energy and Research Development Authority: The Department of Health and Labor will serve as a consultant to the Climate Justice Working Group in stabling a criterion to identify disadvantaged communities. The CLCPA states no further responsibilities from this department. 

9. Environmental justice advisory group: Advisory group tasked with developing a model environmental justice policy.

Advisory Panels

Advisory Panels (Generally): Advisory panels are tasked with providing recommendations to the Council, on various topics, for use in forming a scoping plan. Advisory Panels consult with the Climate Justice and Just Transition working group, as well as seek public input to inform its recommendations to the Council. All Advisory panels are chaired by a relevant agency head or designee. The goal of each advisory panel are detailed below.

10. Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Panel: Develop methods to increase annual sequestration from 22.5MMT to 25.5-32.5 MMT(Million metric tons) by 2050.

11. Transportation Advisory Panel: Develop sector-specific strategies to achieve 31-33% reduction from 2016 levels by 2030.

12. Land Use and Local Government Advisory Panel: Provide local perspective to other advisory panels; align land use strategies and local government policies.

13. Power Generation Advisory Council: Develop sector-specific strategies to achieve 53-56% reduction from 2016 level by 2030.

14. Energy Efficiency and Housing Advisory Panel: Develop strategies to achieve 31-39% emission reduction.

15. Energy Intensive and Trade-Exposed Industries Advisory Panel: Develop strategies to achieve 6% emission reduction

16. Just Transition Working Group: Conduct study on job creation and workforce disruption related to transition to low carbon economy. This working group is co-chaired by the Commissioner of the Labor and the President of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The remaining composition of this working group consist of the following:

  • Commissioners of the Department of Housing and Community Renewal
  • Chair of the Department of Public Service
  • Representatives of environmental justice communities,
  • Representatives of labor organizations
  • Clean energy developers
  • At least five representatives of distinct energy intensive industries

All upcoming Advisory Panel meetings, meeting agendas, meeting materials and recordings can be found here: https://climate.ny.gov/

Browse the research package “New York’s Green New Deal” by Austin Law:

About the Author

Austin Law

Austin Law, Summer Policy Analyst


Austin is currently pursuing a J.D. and comes from a background in Business Management and Economics. As an undergraduate, he designed and conducted statistical research on the effectiveness of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a commercial bank bailout enacted in the 2008 financial crisis. At Unbuilt Labs, Austin’s project considers the New York State’s 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. He will be looking at how sustainability-focused funding and its legislation affect disadvantaged communities. Having worked in both a boutique firm and a top 60 firm in the National Law Journal 500, he has experience with asylum seeking policies and insurance litigation practices. His most recent overseas trip was to his birthplace, Hong Kong, where he spent time teaching children English. He has also helped Make-A-Wish foundation’s Suffolk County Chapter fundraiser for their holiday campaign.

  • Cornell Law School, J.D. Law ‘22
  • Stony Brook University, B.S. (Hons) Business Management and Economics ‘18