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Coalition Says $1B, New Legislation Needed to Meet State Climate Mandates

NY Renews and state lawmakers said much more is needed so New York can reach its climate goals.
20240108climatejustice
A coalition of environmentalists and electeds said more is needed to reach New York’s climate mandates.

Seven state legislators and the NY Renews coalition said the state needs to spend $1 billion and introduce more legislation so that it can meet its climate goals. 

“Declaring New York’s Climate Week in September, Governor Hochul talked about ensuring that ‘New York remains at the forefront of climate action with a focus on environmental justice to achieve a cleaner, greener, and healthier environment for all New Yorkers,’" said Stephan Edel, the executive director of NY Renews in a press release.

The environmental coalition said its Climate, Jobs and Justice Budget is "the absolute minimum" the state needs to put in place this year to start to achieve that goal. 

The proposals include:

  • $1 billion for the Climate Action Fund for 30 shovel-ready, critical climate, transportation, housing, and energy programs, inlcuding upgrading the state's energy grid and shoring up the coastal regions, among other things. 

  • The passage of the NY HEAT Act, which eliminates the requirement that ratepayers pay for the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, lowering utility bills by about $75 a month for those least able to pay.

  • The passage of the Climate Change Superfund Act, which collects money from the biggest climate polluters to fund infrastructure improvements, upgrade stormwater and sewage systems, and improve grid stability and public health across New York City and state.

  • The passage of the Just Energy Transition Act, which will turn fossil fuel-powered facilities into renewable energy plants, creating jobs and improving air quality in nearby communities. 

The coalition said that by taking these actions this year, New York will be able to fulfill the mandates of the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which requires New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

State senators Liz Krueger, Pete Harckham, and Rachel May, along with Assembly members Jeffrey Dinowitz, Patricia Fahy, Harvey Epstein and Jessica González-Rojas supported the proposals.