In 2019 New York State became a leader in responding to climate disruption when it passed the nation’s most progressive climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
Nevertheless, in the State of the State message, Governor Kathy Hochul missed an opportunity to lay out a broad vision to address the climate crisis at a necessary scale, or how her administration intends to fully fund the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which is necessary for New York’s just transition away from a fossil-fuel-based economy. Although the address named many environmental achievements, the landmark CLCPA that made them possible must be funded and implemented now—not years from now.
NY Renews, a coalition of over 300 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups, is calling for $15 billion this year for “climate, jobs, and justice.” We cannot respond to the climate crisis with proclamations, platitudes, or pennies on the dollar. New York requires billions of dollars to best protect and invest in our communities and address the reality of climate disruption.
Without the $15 billion in this year’s budget, it will not be possible to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels, reduce power plant emissions, fully commit to electric school buses, weatherize and decarbonize New York’s housing stock, and expand the Clean Green Schools initiative. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act cannot become an unfunded mandate.