New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, awarded South Australian International Climate Change Leadership Award

24 April 2014

NEW YORK: The Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, has been named the 2013 recipient of the South Australian International Climate Change Leadership Award, the fifth member of The Climate Group’s State and Regions Alliance to receive the international accolade.

The prestigious prize, which was established in 2009, honors representatives of states and regions which have tackled climate change in a direct and effective manner within their territories. In recognition of this sub-national leadership a new section of the Onkaparinga River National Park is named after the winner.

The State of New York is a member of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance, an international network of sub-national governments who are championing the clean revolution.

Since taking office in 2011, Andrew Cuomo has led a targeted campaign to cut emissions through energy innovation. The Governor was responsible for introducing a number of major energy policies, including:

  • The US$1 billion NY Green Bank, a state sponsored investment fund and the largest initiative of its kind in the nation, to enable greater investment in clean energy.
  • A reduction in the carbon emission cap by 45 percent and a reduction in carbon pollution by 2.9 million tons. 
  • A US$17 billion strategy to transform New York's infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management to better protect New Yorkers from the impact of climate change.”


South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Ian Hunter was quick to praise the New York representative, noting that Cuomo has played “a leading role in climate change reform”.

“Under his leadership, New York State’s energy policy has shifted significantly in an attempt to protect the environment, cut utility bills and support new opportunities for economic growth”, the Minister affirmed.

Andrew Cuomo joins a list of notable recipients such as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond. Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the State of Sao Paulo have also been formally recognized.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group and a member of the judging panel, commented: “The State of New York under Governor Cuomo has been one of the real leaders of climate action in the United States, implementing innovative and game-changing initiatives across climate finance, energy, low carbon infrastructure and coastal and population protection. Across the world, subnational and regional governments are showing their national counterparts how climate leadership can bring economic, social and political benefits; as one of the largest economic regions in the US, New York’s example is one that needs to be followed by countries as we move towards the international negotiations in Paris, 2015.”

The news of the Governor's win was closely followed by the annoucement of a $1 billion commitment to NY-Sun. This new development will ensure that the private sector plays a key role in NY solar industry and will facilitate further solar deployment. At present there are over 400 solar companies operating across New York State, with over 5000 people employed in the burgeoning sector . 


Related News:

States and Regions Clean Revolution Leadership report

Mark Kenber op-ed in Raconteur: Creating political will to tackle climate change

Stanford scientist shows how each US state could run on 100% renewables by 2050


20 cities are powering the US solar market, led by those in California  

By Alana Ryan

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