ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State Senate Democrats are calling on the chamber's Republican majority to meet New York's progressive stance in combatting climate change.

Democratic Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, of Westchester, on Wednesday sent a letter to Republican majority leader John Flanagan, urging him to advance bills to address climate change in light of President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the international Paris climate accord agreement that reduces carbon emissions.

Stewart-Cousins says strengthening state environmental protections is critical for New York's economy. She says federal failings to address the issue could increase severe weather events such as Superstorm Sandy that cost hundreds of lives and billions of dollars in damage in 2012.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already committed the state to voluntarily abide by the Paris agreement and announced increased funding for renewable energy sources.

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