ALBANY -- President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to roll back federal environmental regulations will likely have little effect on New York's efforts to combat climate change, according to the state's top energy official.
Richard Kauffman, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's chairman of energy and finance, touted New York's various clean-energy programs Thursday while noting they predate the federal Clean Power Plan, an emissions-reductions program Trump has vowed to scale back.
Should Trump curb environmental regulations at the federal level, New York's programs -- including the Clean Energy Standard, which subsidizes renewable and nuclear energy -- would remain in place.
"There hasn't been a clear federal policy on energy for some time, and states have a shared responsibility on energy and environment policy," Kauffman said in an interview Thursday.
"That's why we've seen states be, as (former Supreme Court Justice Louis) Brandeis put it, laboratories of democracy for a lot of things, including energy."
Climate change emerged as a major dividing point between Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. She supported the Paris climate accord, which committed the world's largest countries to cutting back on greenhouse-gas emissions.
Trump at various points has been skeptical of humans being a contributing cause of climate change, at one point referring to it as a "hoax".
He has vowed to pull back the Environmental Protection Agency, whose policies and regulations Trump has often criticized. He also supports coal-fired power as New York moves away from it.
New York has committed to lofty climate-change goals under its Democratic governor, including receiving 50 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2030 and cutting its emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.
Those goals were adopted by the state Public Service Commission and would remain unchanged despite the change in presidency, officials said.
Jackson Morris, eastern energy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Trump is unlikely to have an impact on New York's climate-change efforts.
New York remains part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a collection of Northeast and mid-Atlantic states that participate in a cap-and-trade emissions program.
If Trump follows through on his campaign pledges, environmental advocates know how to shift their attention to state-level policies, Morris said.
"It is kind of interesting that I feel like we're really shifting back to the early 2000s, where we're seeing the states and regions really being where the action is in terms of climate and clean-energy progress -- at least for the next four years," Morris said. "It's not like we don't know how to navigate that sort of dynamic."
In a letter to supporters Thursday, the head of the New York League of Conservation Voters said environmental leaders in New York have to "step up more than ever next year."
"More than ever before, it will be up to the states to lead on fighting climate change and protecting the environment," Marcia Bystryn, the group's executive director, wrote in the letter.