Cuomo Announces Creation of Climate & Jobs Initiative, Creation of Environmental Justice & Just Transition Working Group

Thursday, June 2, 2017

Following President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Accords, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of a climate and jobs initiative and the creation of an environmental justice and just transition working group.

NYRenews, a coalition of 109 labor, community, and environmental organizations, released the following statement in response:

"We applaud the Governor in the wake of Trump's shameful decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord for taking an important step toward realizing the massive job-creation potential of tackling the climate crisis head-on. New York Renews has been pushing our elected officials at the state level for over a year to implement strong climate legislation—the Climate and Community Protection Act—that prioritizes jobs and justice.

The Governor's announcement in partnership with Climate Jobs NY of a $1.5 billion request for proposals for renewable energy development is a great example of the kind of agency cooperation and investment that will be needed from the state now and in the coming decades to protect New York families from the worst impacts of climate change, while driving a resurgence of good union jobs in the new energy economy. And the commitment from the Governors of CA, WA, and NY to meeting the Paris Accords sends a strong signal to the world. Now New York must turn to the business of meeting and exceeding that commitment.   

To that end, we look forward to working with the Governor to pass visionary legislation that gives New York’s climate and clean energy goals the durable force of law and ensures fair labor standards are attached, so we can keep these ‘climate jobs’ coming for decades to come. Our legislation would also direct a minimum of 40% of state funding to environmental justice communities. The many NY Renews members who have been appointed to the Governor’s new Environmental Justice & Just Transition Working Group will continue to reaffirm that the best way to champion environmental justice is to give it the force of law and ensure that state resources are going to the fenceline and frontline communities that need them most. 

As we defy Trump's historically bad decision, we stay grounded in the future we're fighting for: a future where we’ve averted climate catastrophe through the leadership of organized labor and working people. To lock in that future, New York will need to pass ambitious framework policies, like the Climate and Community Protection Act."

Dan Sherrell