NY Renews Coalition Members Testify at First-Ever NY Senate Hearing on Climate Change

February 12, 2019
Daniela Lapidous | daniela@nyrenews.org | 408-505-8010

Today marks the FIRST EVER legislative hearing that the New York State Senate has held on the issue of climate change and another example of momentum behind climate action in the NYS Legislature. Members of NY Renews -- a statewide coalition of over 160 organizations fighting for climate policies grounded in equity and justice for communities and working people -- plan to testify today in support of the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA).

 The CCPA establishes aggressive mandates to ensure New York’s economy is powered by 100% clean, renewable energy in the next 30 years; thereby significantly reducing climate pollution that harms our public health, environment, and economy. The bill sets a clear plan and accountable mandates for doing so equitably across all sectors of the economy, prioritizing climate and environmental justice and the creation of good, sustainable jobs across the state.

Selected testimony as prepared to be delivered today by NY Renews members:

"There is a growing recognition that the transition to an economy powered by clean renewable energy is inevitable. Whether this transition is just and equitable remains one of the most pressing questions of our day. At PUSH Buffalo, we have been practicing a just transition for several years now on the West Side of the City, from weatherizing and solarizing homes and businesses using local labor to addressing water quality and ecological degradation through an emerging social enterprise model. With each project, we have been able to demonstrate that sustainable community controlled development is not only possible but is the most effective way to generate economic prosperity, deep democratic engagement, and improved quality of life for marginalized residents. The Climate and Community Protection Act will catalyze for other frontline communities in New York State what PUSH has been able to initiate in Buffalo - a community just transition toward a 100% renewable energy economy. For that reason, we urge elected officials in Albany to pass the CCPA early in 2019."

Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Executive Director
PUSH Buffalo

“Perhaps the most important equity provision in the Climate and Community Protection Act mandates that low income and people of color communities in places like Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse and Rochester will have access to targeted funding, a major step to ensure that the communities most burdened by the climate crisis and pollution will have a concrete stake as New York transitions to a renewable energy economy. Environmental justice communities should get priority funding for renewable alternatives like electric buses that alleviate pollution and weatherization projects that save residents money, rather than being the first to be targeted for fossil fuel plants that pollute our communities.”

Jim Anderson, Vice-President,
Citizen Action of New York 

“Technological progress has made the cost of replacing fossil fuels with renewably generated electricity far lower than the most optimistic predictions of twenty years ago. The goals of the CCPA are eminently achievable from technical and economic perspectives.”

Albany resident Daniel Kirk-Davidoff
PhD in Meteorology, '98 MIT
Adjunct Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland

“Just as in the last decade, the nation once again needs for New York to be a true climate leader. Let’s not fritter away any more time. Let’s work together to make 2019 the year that New York State sets climate and clean energy goals into law. Let’s make sure that our law brings equity and justice to frontline communities and to workers. Let’s reorient all state government decisions to align with meeting the goals, supporting aggressive deployment of true renewable energy and moving completely away from the dirty and dangerous fuels of the past. Let’s move as rapidly as we can to a just and equitable economy that is fully powered by clean renewables. Let’s pass the Climate and Community Protection Act.”

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director
Environmental Advocates of New York

“The climate crisis poses an immediate threat to all New Yorkers and puts our state’s entire economy in jeopardy. Naysayers argue that the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) would cost too much; in fact, inaction on climate will bankrupt us all.  The CCPA establishes a path forward that supports communities suffering the front line impacts of the climate crisis--including rural Catskills communities that rely on a stable climate for farming. As the world’s 12th largest economy, when New York innovates others follow, and this is a critical moment for our state to lead. Catskill Mountainkeeper calls on the Senate, Assembly, and the Governor to bring this vision of climate justice, climate action, and good green jobs to life in our state’s laws.”

Katherine Nadeau, Deputy Director
Catskill Mountinkeeper

“Make no mistake, we are in the middle of an energy and environmental transition in this state. The CCPA did not create that transition — but it will hasten the transition and share its benefits more equitably.”

Stephan Edel, Director
New York State Working Families


Dan Sherrell