Climate Change Action: Is New York in the Lead?

Big things are happening in New York regarding climate change action. Take a look at what is going on and discover why protestors recently assembled in Albany.


is one hot topic. And time is running out with relation to the legislative hearing taking place in . Are the Assembly and Gov. Andrew going to make a decision on the climate bill associated with lessening greenhouse gas emissions in ? It’s a question worth examining as the state seems to be on top when it comes to serious efforts to address risks. 

Two bills, the Climate and Community Protection Act and the Climate Leadership Act, are at play right now. Three years ago, the first one passed the Assembly but not the Senate. The latter was introduced this year. Last week, protestors demanded that Gov. Cuomo sign the Climate and Community Protection Act at the State Capitol. It was suggested that he is not focused on climate change, however, he has made efforts to phase out and wind power and to reduce power plant emissions. Back in January, Gov. Cuomo proposed targets regarding where New York obtains its electricity from, and demonstrated some similarities with the CCPA. This has been described as his personal version of a Green New Deal.  

There are always two sides, but a plus is that there is agreement on something – legislation, in some form, is needed to codify current regulations and to inspire new procedures. Both the Climate and Community Protection Act and the Climate Leadership Act focus on a decrease in New York’s fossil fuel usage.  

What Exactly Happened Last Week? Protests in NY 

Hundreds of protestors – more than 400, to be more precise – as well as elected state representatives went to the New York State Capitol building to request that Gov. Cuomo sign the aforementioned bill. It’s a possibility for the first time that the CCPA could become the law. Why are people fighting for this bill? Because it strives to see 100 percent renewable by the year 2050, and it aims for the investment of 40 percent of funds for clean energy in communities that are disadvantaged. Moreover, higher wages would be offered for jobs which are environmentally-friendly.  

Governor’s Proposed Bill 

The governor’s proposed bill would ensure renewable energy sources are ramped up a bit faster, whereas the Assembly bill wants to eliminate statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 – 2050. According to Gov. Cuomo, this might be a bit too restricting and inflexible.   

The chance for national climate legislation to be passed in the near future seems slim. But this does not mean major changes are not taking place. The United States Climate Alliance, for instance, consists of 23 states including Puerto Rico. New York is part of this alliance. And five states, in the last year alone, have endorsed directives mandating a transition to carbon-neutral electricity.  

California has a target for its clean electricity standard by 2045. And in New York, Gov. Cuomo’s bill would mandate that electricity comes from carbon-free sources within the next two decades or so.  

In order to get away from the concerns regarding global warning, we need to take advantage of clean energy. Even the International Energy Agency has discussed how carbon-free nuclear energy is key to making a positive difference. Other climate change authorities agree.  

Maybe there will come a time when federal officials determine how to revitalize the nuclear power industry. A clean energy standard must be devised. If the United States wants to be a leader regarding climate change, national action needs to take place. Now, if agreements are made by leaders in New York, we can expect to see some major changes and moves in the right direction.  

The protests in New York demonstrate that people are willing to fight for what they believe in. It is obvious we need to be mindful of the health of our planet and the health of those living here. Paying attention to the energy sources we use is very important, and recognizing climate change and its negative effects is a big step in helping to make a positive change for our planet.  

Keep reading and following climate change and social justice news to stay in the know! There are big things happening in New York!  




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