Climate and Community Protection Act
A.8270-B (Englebright, et al.), S.7971-A (Hoylman, et al.)
Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. No other issue facing New York today threatens our economy, communities, public health, and natural environment to the extent that climate change does. At this point there is little question in the scientific community about if a changing climate will impact New York—it’s already happening. New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has already documented over a foot of sea level rise since 1990; the annual average temperature statewide has risen about 2.4°F since 1970, with winter warming exceeding 4.4°F; and average annual precipitation has increased across New York State since 1900, with intensity of storms and year-to-year (and multiyear) variability becoming more pronounced.
The Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) is the legislative answer to slowing climate change’s advances, slashing our state’s contribution to climate pollution from all human-produced emissions sources by 100% below 1990 levels, and building climate resilient communities by providing a just transition to renewable energy.
In light of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and the federal government’s attempts to roll back national efforts to protect our state and country from climate change, this bill is needed now more than ever.
The bill establishes and codifies necessary and aggressive climate pollution reduction goals, ensures that communities long left behind are put front and center in the transition to renewables, and prioritizes solid, sustainable jobs. Catskill Mountainkeeper supports this bill.
This bill adds a new article 75, Climate Change, to the environmental conservation law, requiring the DEC, in consultation with other governmental agencies and communities, to develop a climate action plan and promulgate regulations to achieve statewide greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The bill also amends section 54-1523 of the environmental conservation law to make particular technologies eligible in the Environmental Protection Fund. It also amends the public service law and public authorities law to require the public service commission, the Long Island Power Authority, and the power authority of the state of New York to establish programs to generate half of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The bill also amends the labor law to require certain job standards for projects undertaken pursuant to this act. It also requires the DEC to publish a study about particular communities’ barriers to access various services and resources. Finally, the bill requires all of state government to consider statewide emissions reductions and equity in its permitting and funding decisions.