New York's energy sector has the lowest per capita carbon emissions, 8.1 metric tons, in the US, according to data released yesterday by the federal Energy Information Administration.
Between 2000 and 2013, carbon emissions decreased in 37 states and increased in 13. In New York, emissions decreased by 25 percent, the largest decline of all states, according to the EIA. New York's per capita carbon emissions dropped by 27 percent over the same time period.
A few factors helped drive down New York's emissions, including the fact that many of the state's coal-fired power plants have shut down. Coal combustion is a major source of carbon emissions. New York emitted 6.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from coal power in 2013, for example, compared to Pennsylvania's 105.9 million metric tons. Much of New York's power comes from low-carbon nuclear and hydroelectric plants, and the state is increasing its use of renewables, particularly solar.
INew York's population distribution also has a lot to do with the figures, the EIA says.
"A large portion of the population is located in the New York City metropolitan area where mass transit is readily available and most residences are multi-family units that provide efficiencies of scale in terms of energy for heating and cooling," says the analysis on EIA's website
The state's higher energy prices also encourage energy savings measures, the EIA says. And New York uses limited industrial power, too.