Dr. Robert Malmsheimer and Dr. Tristan Brown serving on advisory panels for the New York State Climate Action Council

Two faculty members from the Department of Sustainable Resources Management were selected to serve on advisory panels that will make recommendations to the Climate Action Council (CAC) to support the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Dr. Robert Malmsheimer, Professor of Forest Policy and Law, is serving on the Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Panel and Dr. Tristan Brown, Associate Professor of Energy Resource Economics, is on the Energy Intensive and Trade Exposed Industries Advisory Panel.

The CLCPA, when enacted in 2019, set forth the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reductions goals of any major economy, including a 40% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030 and an 85% reduction by 2050. In addition to these reductions, the Act mandates net zero emissions by 2050, so any remaining emissions will need to be offset by negative emission mechanisms, such as natural climate solutions (e.g., forest management, afforestation), to increase carbon storage.

The agriculture and forestry sectors will play an important role in both reducing emissions and offsetting remaining emissions. On the Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Panel, Dr. Malmsheimer is working with other experts from environmental organizations, forestry and agriculture organizations, state agencies, and other universities to develop recommendations related to the role that these sectors will play. The panels meet regularly, seek public input on recommendations, and will make a set of final recommendations to the CAC in March. The Climate Action Council has been tasked with sending recommendations to the New York State legislature later this year that will enable the state to achieve the CLCPA requirements. In serving on the advisory panels, Dr. Malmsheimer and Dr. Brown have been able to share relevant research from SUNY ESF with their colleagues and build relationships with state agencies and other organizations. The CLCPA will shape the state’s energy, forestry and agriculture, and industrial sectors into the future and having SUNY ESF represented on the advisory panels is a notable accomplishment.