June 16, 2017
Bill Number: A. 8270 / S. 6617
Title of Bill: “Climate and Community Protection Act of 2017”
Statement of support:
New Economy Project respectfully submits this memo in support of A. 8270 / S. 6617.
Climate change is one of the gravest challenges facing our state and our country. While climate change impacts everyone, it has had a particularly devastating impact on New York’s low-income, of-color, immigrant, and other vulnerable communities.
Extreme weather destroys upstate farmers’ crops and keeps low-wage hourly employees from getting to work.
Air pollution exacerbates chronic health conditions, triggering asthma attacks and other health problems, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
When a major storm hits, poor communities are the last to see relief. In fact, Superstorm Sandy displaced nearly half of New York City’s 400,000 public-housing residents. In the aftermath, it was low-income renters who were vulnerable to being left without affordable housing.
Beyond the clear moral imperative of preventing these disastrous impacts, addressing climate change presents us with an unprecedented opportunity: to create tens of thousands of jobs by building a 100% clean, renewable energy economy that works for everyone, and puts everyone to work.
To reap these economic benefits, though, New York’s climate and clean energy goals must be given the force of law, and include strong labor standards in clean energy funding programs to ensure renewable energy jobs are also good union jobs.
With the federal government abdicating its responsibility to mitigate climate change, and forfeiting American leadership in the burgeoning renewable energy market, it is time for New York to lead the country by passing its strongest climate, jobs, and justice legislation. The Climate and Community Protection Act:
- Makes our state climate pollution reduction and clean energy commitments legally binding across all sectors including energy, buildings, and transportation, setting a path to 100% clean renewable energy by 2050
- Creates a process to ensure that resources at least 40% of state energy funds are allocated towards vulnerable, impacted, historically disadvantaged, and frontline communities
- Requires all state agencies evaluate the climate and equity impacts of their decisions and ensure that they are fulfilling these dual mandates
- Ensures that our climate efforts create family-supporting clean-energy jobs with binding labor standards and career ladders, and
- Ensures government accountability and action.
New Economy Project strongly supports A.8270 / S.6617 and encourages its enactment this year.