The goals of NY Renews are as simple as they are ambitious: we want New York State to lead the country in the fight for climate justice, and we’ve brought together an all-star team to make it happen.
The environmentalists who won the state’s fracking ban, the unions that won the fight for a $15 minimum wage, the environmental justice advocates who led the 400,000-person People’s Climate March—all told, 97 organizations have joined forces in an unprecedented coalition to pass sweeping policy reforms that would decarbonize New York’s economy in the next 35 years, create thousands of new jobs, reinvest in low-income communities, and protect workers impacted by the transition away from fossil fuels. We believe in the moral and strategic imperative of rising to the challenge of the climate crisis with solutions driven by those most vulnerable to its impacts—from communities on the frontlines of extreme weather, to those on the fencelines of polluting fossil fuel power plants. Together, we have the power to turn this crisis into an opportunity: for greater economic justice, stronger local economies, and a healthier and safer New York for everyone.
In 2016, NY Renews introduced a bill called the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) which would require New York to eliminate 100% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, reinvest 40% of state energy funding in disadvantaged communities, and attach fair labor standards to all projects receiving state energy funds. The bill got further than anyone anticipated, passing through the Assembly easily, and winning bipartisan support in the Senate before getting stalled out by Senate leadership. In 2017, NY Renews is gearing up for a big push to get the CCPA across the finish line, codifying into law the most ambitious climate legislation in the country. But we’re not stopping there. Meanwhile we’re developing legislation that would institute a financial penalty on polluters to generate the huge amounts of new revenue needed to drive investment in renewable energy, and provide a cushion for workers and communities as transition to the new energy economy. On all of this, we will have our work cut out for us: the fossil fuel lobby and their political allies won’t want these policies to pass. But with the diversity and power represented in our coalition, we believe we can make history here in New York. And we are asking our allies to join us: visit nyrenews.org to learn more.
By Dan Sherrell