Statement on the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
NY Renews, a coalition of over 180 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups released the following statement on the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act:
“We celebrate the power of the NY Renews coalition in winning a climate bill that makes New York a national leader in legally-mandated emissions cuts. For the future of humanity and our planet, we need to move off of fossil fuels towards a renewable economy, and we hope the commitment we won for New York encourages other states to follow our lead in setting economy-wide, legally mandated emissions targets.
Our coalition of 180+ environmental justice, faith, labor, environmental, and community groups crafted the Climate and Community Protection Act (S2992/A3876) to truly interweave and embody the principles of climate, jobs, and justice, particularly through a mandate to invest 40% of state climate-related funding into communities hit first and worst by economic inequality, climate change, and pollution. Additionally, we incorporated strong standards for workers in the green economy, including setting a prevailing wage for those in state-subsidized projects.
This weekend and early this week, the legislature and Governor released several iterations of a bill now titled the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. While the bill does set mandates for deep emissions cuts, including a zero emissions target for the electric sector, we are deeply concerned that changes in the legislative language over the versions of the bill will weaken the bill’s original intent to directly invest resources in vulnerable communities. Additionally, although the bill includes a nod towards prevailing wage, the Governor’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act removes mandates to secure specific worker protections, job growth and training included in previous editions of the Climate and Community Protection Act, which are essential to a just transition off of fossil fuels.
Ultimately, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is a partial victory for New Yorkers. The fight for true climate justice demands transformative change, and we will bring that fight until our communities win.
We stand strong knowing that as recently as last week, the Governor dismissed any funding for frontline communities, and in his Climate Leadership Act, refused to set a timeline for economy-wide emission reductions. This new legislation does both, and that is a direct result of years of tireless organizing by the members of the NY Renews coalition. We organized countless lobby meetings, hearings, rallies, town halls, and civil disobedience actions.
Legislators, executives, and government institutions must be pulled in the direction of justice by organized people, and that is what NY Renews has done.
On climate, we won the strongest emissions reduction standards in the country in the face of immense resistance from the powers that seek to preserve the status quo. On climate justice and labor justice, we pledge to continue the fight for New Yorkers to win and maintain true investment in low-income and black and brown communities that too often bear the brunt of the climate crisis. We call on the Governor and legislature to join us in this effort, through the strengthening and implementation of the strongest parts of this bill and amendments through the legislative process in years to come.
We cannot solve the climate crisis without strong legislation focused on economic and racial justice. NY Renews is not going home. The fight for climate justice for all New Yorkers continues.”
About NY Renews:
NY Renews is a nonpartisan coalition of over 180 member organizations. The coalition seeks a sustainable future for the earth and its people, recognizing that climate change represents a threat to all and especially to vulnerable people such as workers, people of color, seniors, youth, and the poor. NY Renews believes that the climate crisis and the inequality crisis can be solved with the same set of policies, and that climate protection must serve as a means to challenge racial injustice and bring about greater economic equity.