Council resolution calls for the Climate Action Council and Governor Hochul to abide by the carbon free clean energy targets of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

(May 19, 2022 at 11:45am)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. joined today with City Council Members Lincoln Restler, James Gennaro, Shahana Hanif, Carmen De La Rosa, Jennifer Gutiérrez, and Kevin Riley to introduce a City Council resolution in support of the draft Climate Action Council Scoping Plan, calling on the Climate Action Council (CAC) and Governor Hochul to fully implement the clean energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

Three years after the historic passage of the CLCPA, which is nationally regarded for having the strongest greenhouse gas reduction requirements in the country, including a commitment for New York to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 and a 100 percent zero emission electric sector by 2040, the CAC is now holding statewide hearings at it prepares to develop a final scoping plan that will guide the regulatory, legislative, and budgetary actions the state will take in order to reach these goals. However, with powerful fossil fuel companies spending millions to undermine the state’s climate and environmental justice mandates, the future of the CLCPA and our state’s clean energy agenda is in jeopardy.

The purpose of this legislative resolution, called “Climate Plan to Protect New York” is to demonstrate that the authoritative voice of the Council — as representatives of over 8 million city residents — is behind the full implementation of the CLCPA and to call on the CAC and Governor Hochul to ensure that its clean energy, climate justice and climate change policy targets are met.  In recent years the Council has passed bold new climate laws including Local Law 97 and a ban on gas hookups in new buildings. This resolution calls for similarly forceful actions statewide.

“Climate change isn’t some future threat. From Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Ida and beyond, climate change has already ravaged this borough on more than one occasion. Fully implementing and funding the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act will not only ensure New York’s place as a global leader on sustainability and renewable energy, it will save lives and protect our communities from future storms,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in government and environmental protection on such a critical issue, because there is simply no more time to waste.”

“The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, and New York has an opportunity to lead on decarbonization. We should be doing everything in our power to maximize investments in clean energy and in low-income and communities of color disproportionately impacted by climate chaos. This isn’t just about goals, it’s about mandates,” said Council Member LINCOLN RESTLER. “I’m proud to join my colleagues and climate justice organizations to call on the CAC and the Governor to resist the fossil fuel industry and protect our communities.” 

“Protecting our communities from the dangers of climate change and the proliferation of dirty fossil fuels is the fight of our lifetime and that of generations to come. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, I am proud that the Council has been at the forefront of some of the country’s most ambitious clean energy, sustainability, and resiliency laws,” said Council Member JAMES GENNARO. “Now it’s time for New York State to do its part and fulfill the mission of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by ensuring both the letter and spirit of the law are fully implemented. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government on this important resolution and other measures to protect our environment and our children’s future.

“With our neighborhoods facing the threat of escalating climate disasters and increasing health risks like asthma and heat stroke, we cannot wait any longer to take bold action on climate change,” said Council Member SHAHANA HANIF. “The Council has been a leader on City policies to reduce emissions, but we need the state to step up and ensure that clean energy standards are fully implemented for all New Yorkers. Today’s resolution is a strong signal that the welfare of millions and investment in the communities most impacted by the climate crisis must be prioritized by the state.”

“As a supporter of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act during my tenure in the State Assembly, I am proud to stand with my colleagues and the environmental justice advocates to introduce this resolution at the City Council,” said Council Member CARMEN DE LA ROSA. “New York State has an opportunity to create thousands of green union jobs, improve public health outcomes for environmental justice communities like Northern Manhattan, and meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals if we fully implement this historic legislation. We cannot delay climate action and it is imperative that New York State lead the way forward by achieving the goals of the CLCPA.”

 “Where you live and how much you earn should not determine the quality of air that you breathe and your family’s safety from extreme weather events,” said Council Member KEVIN C. RILEY. “We have seen time and again how our most marginalized communities are threatened by dirty fossil fuels and toxin-emitting power plants. Enough is enough. The Bronx, which includes my district, holds the highest incidence of asthma in the country due to poor air quality. Enough is enough. The Governor and the Climate Action Council, responsible for overseeing the full and fair implementation of our climate protection laws, must take action now. This resolution demonstrates our collective voice and we need them to listen to it.”

“New York passed the most ambitious climate change protection law in the country, but it won’t protect our communities if the Climate Action Council allows the fossil fuel industry to slash and burn its key provisions. We thank the Council for adding their voice, as representatives of over 8 million city residents, to the chorus of support calling on Governor Hochul and the Council to ensure full and fair implementation of the CLCPA,” said Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative ALLISON CONSIDINE. “If the state meets its commitments to this law, we can finally support frontline communities and transform our economy, including policies to prevent new or repowered fossil fuel plants and phase out existing, polluting gas plants in NY to be replaced with wind, solar, and storage to reduce air pollution and create a clean grid for electrified buildings and transportation. Climate change represents a huge threat to New York City. This is our chance to secure a better future for our communities and kids.”

“Climate change disproportionately impacts communities of color, which is why it is essential that the New York City Council adopt this resolution to ensure that Governor Hochul and the State’s Climate Action Council adhere to the CLCPA’s mandate to reduce statewide emissions,” said WE ACT for Environmental Justice Environmental Policy and Advocacy Coordinator LONNIE J. PORTIS. “There can be no backpedaling, shortcuts, or half measures in meeting these targets. After enduring decades of disinvestment and serving as dumping grounds for all types of pollution, our communities deserve a timely, just transition to a zero-emissions economy powered by renewable energy.”

With nearly 70% of New York City’s power being produced by dirty fossil fuel combustion, and low-income and communities of color bearing an inequitable burden of pollution, the introduction of this resolution is intended to send a loud message – climate change is a clear and present threat to the health and sustainability of our communities and the state must keep its promise by meeting the clean energy goals of the CLCPA.

Resolution Key Provisions:

  • Decarbonizing New York City’s building stock will require an aggressive push toward large-scale building electrification, and widespread equitable access to air source and geothermal heat pumps, and energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits; 
  • The Scoping Plan should include recommendations in support of all newly constructed buildings being all-electric by 2024, full electrification of building stock statewide, and the cessation of marketing and incentives for gas and fuel oil; 
  • No new or repowered fossil fuel power plants should be permitted in New York;
  • The recommendations of the State’s Climate Justice and Just Transition Working Groups and frontline environmental justice leaders must be incorporated into the final recommendations for the Scoping Plan, including:
  • Year-by-year targets for transitioning to zero emissions electricity, widespread transportation electrification, and enhancement of transit, smart growth, and reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT) through bike and pedestrian infrastructure expansions; 

A copy of the full resolution can be found here.

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