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Carbon Free New York Launches Campaign Advocating for New York to be First-In-Nation to Implement a Carbon Pricing Plan in Electricity Markets—Carbon Free NY

Coalition launches new website——to serve as digital education and organizing hub for advocacy campaign efforts.

NEW YORK, February 2020A new coalition of environmental, renewable energy, labor and clean energy groups have joined together to launch the Carbon Free New York (#CarbonFreeNY) campaign in support of New York becoming the first state in the nation to include the social cost of carbon in its electricity markets by implementing a carbon pricing plan. 

With New York having recently set a national standard for decarbonization by mandating the elimination of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the Carbon Free NY coalition will be launching a robust public education and organizing effort to help New York meet its clean energy goals more quickly and efficiently through the approval of a carbon pricing plan proposed by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which administers the state’s wholesale electricity markets.

Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York:

"With such ambitious goals, New York needs to use every possible tool. Carbon pricing in the electricity markets is one of those creative tools, and  an efficient way to recognize the benefits of carbon-free power. The renewable energy industry is enthusiastic about this policy and hopeful that New York State pursues it.”

Julie Tighe, President of the League of Conservation Voters:

“We are in a climate crisis and we need to act quickly to transition to a green grid. We are excited to be a part of the Carbon Free New York Coalition because we believe carbon pricing will push our state towards an innovative, clean energy future faster. Given our state’s current energy infrastructure, we have a lot of work to do to reach the goals outlined in the CLCPA. We look forward to working with the NYISO and coalition members to innovate and expand New York's reliance on renewable energy and bring consumers clean, affordable energy."

Gary Toth, Upstate Energy Jobs: 

“NYISO’s carbon-pricing initiative is sound public policy to align New York’s electricity markets with its aggressive renewable and environmental goals while avoiding the near-term impacts of FERC’s actions to undermine New York’s clean-energy resources. Pricing the social cost of carbon in New York’s electricity markets will reduce greenhouse gases, provide safe and reliable electrical power and protect New York State jobs. ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, and ECONOMY! All three are equally important for a vibrant and healthy New York State.”

The NYISO plan would reduce electricity sector carbon emissions by up to 22 percent by charging producers of dirty, carbon-intensive electricity and rewarding those who produce carbon-free electricity. The plan would improve public health outcomes and result in economic and climate benefits of up to $691 million annually by 2025 according to analysis by Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent nonprofit organization that conducts research into environmental, energy, and natural resource issues.

In order to help New York effectively meet the long-term climate goals codified in the CLCPA, Carbon Free New York believes that the NYISO carbon pricing plan can serve as a reliable and affordable home-grown policy tool to efficiently and inexpensively advance current decarbonization efforts and align our climate energy goals with a market-based, technology-neutral model for decarbonization, that also saves consumers’ money. Reducing carbon emissions will also result in public health benefits.

NYISO’s carbon pricing plan would allow the state to leverage competitive markets to:

  • Reduce the cost and time to achieve the state’s goal of 100 percent carbon-free emissions; 
  • Accelerate decarbonization in New York’s generation fleet; 
  • Accelerate entry of new renewable projects, with attendant green job creation, particularly in areas currently served by fossil units, including in vulnerable communities downstate;
  • Improve public health, especially downstate, by moving away from the most dangerous carbon-emitting generators;
  • Create stronger economic incentives for cost-effective transmission investment, providing downstate market access to cleaner and more efficient resources located upstate and growing the potential market for renewables upstate; 
  • Create incentives for energy efficiency;
  • Promote innovation and clean energy businesses in New York by incentivizing carbon-free energy production; and
  • Avoid near-term risks associated with future FERC actions to undermine New York’s renewable and zero-emission resources - jeopardizing the state’s clean-energy goals and resulting in significant consumer cost increases

David Gahl, Senior Director of Northeast State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):

“Last year, SEIA released a Roadmap for the Solar+ Decade, with a goal for solar to reach 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. As part of that plan, we committed to collaborating with organizations that share our vision for radical market transformation. Joining the Carbon Free New York Coalition is one way SEIA is delivering on that promise. We are excited to work alongside other clean energy leaders in the coalition and will work to push policy changes that will help us meet our ambitious goals.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA:

“Capturing the price of carbon pollution in New York’s electricity market will allow the state to achieve its decarbonization goals at the least cost to consumers, and serve as a model to the nation on how to use a market-based approach to reach clean energy goals. Providing a long-term market signal for renewable investment, through carbon pricing, will also provide New York with numerous economic benefits, such as job creation, that come from moving toward a clean energy economy.”

Miguel Prado, CEO of EDP Renewables North America:

“New York has a unique opportunity to use a market-based approach to reduce its carbon pollution and encourage new clean energy production. We encourage New York’s leaders to seize this opportunity to incorporate the social cost of carbon into its energy market and drive renewable energy investment forward.”

Eric Millard, Chief Commercial Officer, CS Energy, LLC:

“New York is an exciting growth market for renewable energy companies like us. Including the social cost of carbon in the wholesale market will improve the growth potential we already see over the next few years, without pushing additional costs to the ratepayers. It’s a no-brainer.”

The coalition, which is still in formation, currently includes the Alliance for Clean Energy (ACE NY), NY League of Conservation Voters, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), EDP Renewables, Millwrights Union Local 1163, Exelon Generation, Northland Power, CS Energy, East Light Partners, Innogy, Invenergy, Apex Clean Energy, ReEnergy, and Sustainable Power Group (sPower).

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Led by a diverse network of environmental groups, energy providers, labor unions and clean energy advocates, CFNY’s mission is to encourage all appropriate stakeholders to work together to implement the NYISO carbon pricing proposal that will help New York achieve its clean energy policy goals and be the nation’s clean energy leader through the decarbonization of our electricity sector with a market-based model. We believe that by implementing the NYISO carbon pricing proposal in a timely and efficient manner and incorporating the cost of carbon into the electricity sector, New York can align its wholesale electricity markets with its clean energy policy objectives to decarbonize the electricity sector as set forth in the Climate Leadership Community Protection Act (CLCPA).