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LeBrun: Climate Act needs to happen in N.Y.

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New York, it's time to step up and lead the nation on addressing climate change.

In these waning days of the state legislative session, when traditionally much of significance is furiously horse traded out of public view, no bill looms larger in importance for future generations, given how slowly America is reacting to the global warming crisis, than the Climate and Community and Protection Act. It's designed to no less than "address and mitigate the impacts of climate change in New York."

Arguably, as state Assembly conservation committee chair Steve Engelbright has noted, "the most important issue on Earth."

It would codify into law — and that is critical for both business and environmental certainty — that the state be carbon-free by 2050, setting benchmarks in five- and 10-year increments for the reduction of heat-retaining greenhouse gases in order to get there.

Thirty years. Fossil fuels be gone. Enter the age of sustainable energies, and sooner rather than later establish a carbon tax on those continuing to emit excessive emissions, with tradeable credits to lure every element of the public sector into finding ways to meet and even exceed the challenge. In the language of the Senate version of the bill, which is quite similar to the Assembly's, this legislation would........

© Times Union