Press Release: NYLPI & NY Renews Call on Legislature & State Agencies to Fund and Implement Climate ActDecember 20, 2022
Contact: Stephan Edel, [email protected], 646-644-1845
Web: @NYRenews | www.nyrenews.org
NY Renews Coalition Applauds the Climate Action Council’s Final Scoping Plan; Calls on NYS Legislature and state agencies, to Fund and Implement the Climate Act
NY Renews Coalition members celebrate the release of the NYS Climate Action Council’s Scoping Plan and propose a framework to make the plan reality
New York State – The New York State Climate Action Council passed and released its Final Scoping Plan on December 19, 2022, which outlines how the 2019 Climate Act will be implemented in New York State.
This is an historic moment, a milestone in enacting the CLCPA, which NY Renews campaigned long and hard to win. NY Renews and the broader climate and environmental justice movement have achieved major victories in this plan. It sets a clear path to reducing greenhouse gas and co-pollutant emissions, increasing the use and storage of renewable energy, and ensuring climate justice for communities from Long Island to Buffalo.
Now that the Climate Action Council has approved the plan the real work begins. The Governor and the Legislature, alongside every state agency, municipality, and neighborhood throughout New York, will have to work together to meet these mandates and create a just and reliable energy system.
Throughout the public comment period, NY Renews member organizations and supporters sent more than ten thousand letters and delivered hundreds of testimonies. While the final plan is not perfect, it is clear that, the Council heard us and worked to center environmental justice impacts and public safety risks in its decision making.
On behalf of our more than 320 organizational members and the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they represent, NY Renews thanks Governor Hochul and the Climate Action Council for their hard work on New York’s Scoping Plan. The final plan will not only help NY reach its climate targets of an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy by 2030, and increasing offshore wind, solar, and energy storage capacity in the coming years—it will also reduce the disproportionate burden of environmental harm on historically marginalized Black, brown, Indigenous, and working-class communities.
Thanks to the Council’s leadership, New Yorkers will benefit from clean air and water, improved health, and good, unionized, clean-energy jobs for generations to come.
Key victories in the scoping plan include:
- Advances a clear path to meeting our emissions reduction and equity goals
- Moves towards worker protections and standards to ensure good union jobs
- Places limits on the use of so-called “renewable natural gas”, hydrogen, and biofuels
- Provides a clear mandate to decarbonize and electrify our state’s infrastructure, housing, and transportations systems
- Recognizes the vital need for new climate funding to quantitatively expand our state’s efforts economy wide
- Focuses on rapidly electrifying transportation and buildings, not complex tricks or schemes
While the current plan includes these key victories, it also contains areas of concern for families, small businesses, environmental justice communities, and more. NY Renews coalition concerns include:
- Adoption of “green” hydrogen needs to be carefully monitored and considered to ensure it actually reduces greenhouse gas emissions and toxic pollution, especially in environmental justice communities.
- The details of any “Cap and invest” permitting proposal need to ensure that disadvantaged communities directly benefit from the plan, are not disproportionately burdened pursuant to Section 7(3) of the Climate Law, and that New York structures a system to avoid creating hotspots or other disproportionate impacts.
- A schedule must be established by regulation or statute providing for the retirement of all sources of fossil fuels on a year-by-year basis in order to achieve the law’s greenhouse gas emissions limits, and enforcement mechanisms put in place.
Now that the Scoping Plan is final, NY Renews is gearing up to ensure that the New York Legislature passes the legislation and funding to make the plan a reality.
NY Renews’ Climate, Jobs & Justice Package, the coalition’s 2023 legislative platform, aims to do just that. Organized around three key demands that individually and collectively advance the mandates of NY’s Climate Act (CLCPA), the Climate, Jobs & Justice Package requires NY to (1) fully fund and implement NY’s Climate Act, (2) build renewable energy for all and create good, green union jobs, and (3) make polluters and the ultra-rich pay what they owe to fund the transition.
The Climate, Jobs & Justice Package is NY Renews’ platform to fully address the climate crisis and meet the mandates of the NY Climate Act during the 2023 legislative session.
Quotes from NY Renews Members:
“Climate and environmental justice advocates at NY Renews and across the state should be proud: the final scoping plan represents a significant achievement for our communities and our movement,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director at NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. “If fully funded and implemented via the Climate, Jobs & Justice Package, the final plan will reduce both greenhouse gases and co-pollutants that poison our air and water, and sicken our families and ourselves. The plan will make it easier for New York’s low-income communities of color to not just survive, but thrive, for generations.”
“We applaud the hard work and timely feedback given by Climate Action Council members to ensure that the CLCPA is implemented with equity, justice and good jobs. However, we encourage NYSERDA and DEC to include the recommendation that NY State incentivizes good jobs creation through public spending and contracting when implementing the Action Plan. For example, NYSERDA’s recently announced applications for $8 million in funding for EV developers to install electric vehicle charges could incentivize job creation through the bidding process to bring more family and community-sustaining jobs to New York State,” said Jay Mehta, Northeast Director, Jobs Move America.
“Green jobs are the future, and this scoping plan moves us toward a sustainable and thriving economy. This blueprint will ensure that no worker is left behind as we transition to a green economy. To fund and implement the plan properly, we must pass the Climate, Jobs, and Justice package (CJJP). This plan and the CJJP will allow us to create the hundreds of thousands of green career jobs needed to recover from the pandemic and tackle the ever worsening climate emergency,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN, steering committee member of NY Renews.
“The Climate Action Council’s plan is an important step forward in meeting New York’s science-based greenhouse gas reduction and renewable power goals. But much more needs to be done. We urge that the Legislature hold hearings to separate the policy ‘wheat’ from the ‘chaff’ in the Council’s recommendations and develop a final plan with annual benchmarks that relies on non-polluting power sources. Moreover, any final package must require the oil industry to foot the bill, not New Yorkers,” said Blair Horner, Executive Director of N.Y. Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG).
“New York is meeting the challenge of the climate crisis head-on thanks to the Climate Action Council’s strong final scope and the unwavering advocacy of NY Renews,” said Katherine Nadeau, Catskill Mountainkeeper’s Deputy Director. “The final scope represents the culmination of years of engagement by tens of thousands of New Yorkers working alongside dedicated public servants to create a plan that directs the state to reduce emissions while improving public health and day-to-day life of residents statewide. Catskill Mountainkeeper welcomes this opportunity to thank the Governor, NY Renews members, and the Climate Action Council for all of their work.”
“The intensity of the climate crisis is increasing, which is why we need to increase our efforts to deliver mutual and equitable climate justice for New Yorkers, especially those residing in disadvantaged and other environmental justice communities,” remarked Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright, Director of Environmental Justice with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. The final Scoping Plan is a step in the right direction, and NYLPI applauds and offers accolades to those CAC members who stood up to the council’s fossil fuel interests who could have dissipated the hard work of the grassroots if not challenged by climate justice champions on the council and statewide. But this is not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning as the implementation phase will require invigorated efforts to ensure false climate solutions, including questionable revenue generating mechanisms, don’t result in crude capitulations. NYLPI calls on the State Legislature and the Governor to embark on the people’s work by making NY Renews’ Climate, Jobs, and Justice package a legislatively tactile exercise.”
“The final scoping plan is a victory for the people of New York State. Thank you to the Climate Action Council members who supported the final plan. The dissenting voices on the Council represent the same fossil fuel and corporate interests that sought to undermine the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act through disinformation campaigns led by proxies and front groups. These efforts to sabotage our progress on climate, equitable investment, and the dismantling of sacrifice zones in frontline and disadvantaged communities will no doubt persist, if not intensify, in the years ahead. We call for supreme vigilance and bold action by lawmakers, working closely with climate justice leaders in the upcoming legislative session, to enact the Climate, Jobs and Justice Package as part of a transformational strategy to fully and fairly implement the CLCPA,” said Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Executive Director of PUSH Buffalo.
“The vote to approve the Climate Action Council’s scoping plan marks the culmination of nearly three-year process of developing a thoughtful and comprehensive plan that rises to meet the nation leading challenges established by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This blueprint–if implemented successfully by Governor Hochul and the Legislature–will provide New Yorkers with the tools to transition off fossil fuels in a manner that attracts new industries and investments in communities, improves public health and air quality, while providing households and businesses with the resources to make the transition to clean energy,” said Conor Bambrick, Director of Climate Policy for Environmental Advocates NY.
“The Final Scoping Plan is a monumental achievement, presenting detailed strategies and recommendations to transform New York away from a reliance on fossil fuels towards a renewable-powered, electrified system while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, advancing environmental justice, and protecting affordability,” said Allison Considine, Senior Campaign Representative.
“The Climate Action Council members deserve a gargantuan applause for their dedication and hard work in preparing the first of the implementation plans for New York’s Climate Act in the face of relentless efforts by the fossil fuel industry and its allies to weaken it with delays and false solutions through massive disinformation campaigns targeting everyone from their customers to community boards to the echelons of power in Albany. We now look forward to state agencies and the legislature to implement the Council’s recommendations that help the State meet its statutory emissions targets and to use their authority to filter out the gas industry’s influences that would delay the attainment of these targets.” — Anshul Gupta, The Climate Reality Project
Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate with Earthjustice, said, “Thanks to the voices of thousands of New Yorkers, New York has taken a tremendous step forward in laying out the plan to meet the mandates of our climate law. The final scoping plan lays out key policies across various sectors to move New York off fossil fuels and recognizes the importance of electrifying vehicles and buildings. Earthjustice thanks the members of the Climate Action Council for listening to the voices of New Yorkers in adopting this plan. It is now critical that Governor Hochul and the Legislature move forward with bold legislation during the 2023 budget and legislative session that will achieve the vision of the scoping plan and that State agencies work with key stakeholders—especially environmental justice leaders and frontline communities—to make the scoping plan’s regulatory recommendations a reality.”
NY Renews is a coalition of more than 320 environmental justice, community, faith, labor, and multi-issue organizations fighting for just climate policy for New Yorkers. We are the force behind the nation’s most aggressive climate law, the NY State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, enacted in 2019. The Climate, Jobs & Justice Package is the next step in our fight for climate justice in New York.
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