Local Organizations Demand Immediate Action on Climate from NYS Senate Leadership

Local just transition advocates and frontline community members representing the Crossroads Collective and the statewide NY Renews coalition applaud the leadership of NYS Assemblymembers Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D), 141st District; Sean Ryan (D), 149th District; and Michael Kearns (D), 142nd District in working to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) (A.8270) last night in the Assembly with an official vote tally of 103 to 41. The CCPA is the strongest, most progressive climate, jobs, and equity legislation currently in play in state legislatures across the country, and is backed by the over 100 member-based organizations that comprise the NY Renews coalition. If passed into law, the CCPA would codify New York State’s transition to a 100% renewable energy, fossil fuel free economy by the year 2050. The bill would commit 40% of the state’s climate and clean energy investments to programs and initiatives that directly benefit disadvantaged communities marginalized by historical forms of disinvestment, institutional racism, and environmental contamination. Workers in the emerging green economy in New York would also come out ahead, as the CCPA establishes progressive labor standards, including prevailing wage guarantees, on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that receive public support. As the world’s 12th largest economy, New York State’s ability to take bold action on climate change in the face of the federal government’s retreat into climate denialism would have powerful ripple effects both within the U.S. and outside our borders.

With the NYS legislative session set to end tomorrow, the responsibility to move the CCPA into law now lies squarely with members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Caucus, led by Senator Jeff Klein, (D) 34th District, and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R), 2nd District. At this pivotal moment in the global climate crisis, we urge the IDC and Senate Republicans to abandon intramural Albany politics and myopic partisanship to join their colleagues in the Assembly and pass the CCPA for all New Yorkers.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said “Given the lack of leadership coming from the White House in regards to climate change, states need to step up to the plate to combat this continuing threat. I was proud to join my colleagues in the Assembly Majority to enact a bold plan to address the crisis of climate change, and create a greener energy future for New York State. Transitioning to an economy based on renewable energy is the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do. We can help workers transition to the jobs of the future, and in the process cut our carbon emissions as we invest in green energy technology. I call upon the Senate to bring this important legislation up for a vote.”

 

Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Deputy Director at PUSH Buffalo said “We absolutely cannot afford further delays or setbacks in legislating real solutions to climate change impacts. If enacted, the CCPA would transform the lives of thousands of families, workers, and whole communities across New York State. It is central to an effective just transition strategy that redistributes public resources to frontline communities while holding big polluters and government agencies accountable to progressive climate goals. The IDC and Senate Republicans must move the CCPA to the floor for a vote this session. Our collective future as New Yorkers hangs in the balance.”

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