Climate justice coalition NY Renews responds to State of the State

Climate and Community Protection Act represents a true climate justice agenda for New York

Daniela Lapidous | 408-505-8010 |

January 16, 2019

In response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address NY Renews -- a coalition of over 150 environmental justice, labor, and community organizing groups across the state -- issued the following statement:

With yesterday’s release of the Governor’s budget including the Climate Leadership Act, New Yorkers stand at a historic moment. The Assembly has championed the Climate and Community Protection Act for three sessions. The newly-elected Senate and leadership are determined to lead on the climate crisis, with the CCPA as one priority.

For years, the Climate and Community Protection Act has represented a true climate justice agenda for our state.

New Yorkers from Erie County to Montauk have been calling for bold action on climate, and NY Renews welcomes the major climate policy proposed in the executive budget. It is heartening to see progress towards a fossil-free New York.

However, truly equitable climate policy must come from the communities with the most at stake and must outline a clear path to an economy-wide renewable energy future. The Climate and Community Protection Act was developed through a process deeply grounded in the needs of communities on the frontlines of climate change, from New York City to Buffalo. Our statewide coalition represents thousands of New Yorkers through over 150 community organizations, including environmental justice and labor leaders.

In the Climate Leadership Act of the executive budget, we are pleased to see aggressive goals for moving the electricity sector to clean and renewable energy. However, any truly comprehensive plan to tackle climate change needs more specific deadlines, planning processes, and accountability for moving our whole economy off of fossil fuels than are currently included.

Additionally, we are concerned about provisions related to the consideration of market-based mechanisms that may include cap-and-trade agreements. We strongly believe the state must aim for true emissions reduction goals that transition New York to being powered by safe, sustainable energy.

The Climate and Community Protection Act has the level of comprehensive planning that NY needs, including prioritized investment for communities of color and workers:

  • The CCPA sets a specific timeline for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide.

  • The CCPA mandates that 40% of state energy funds are invested to benefit environmental justice communities, to lower emissions, create jobs, and lead to better health outcomes for low-income communities and communities of color that currently bear disproportionate health burdens from burning fossil fuels.

  • The CCPA mandates that state-supported green jobs have fair wages and are accessible to women and people of color.

We look forward to working with the Assembly and Senate leadership to make sure that New York’s climate and energy agenda addresses the needs and input of frontline communities and workers, by passing the Climate and Community Protection Act.


Dan Sherrell