New York Can Be a Beacon of Hope for Our Climate

Joe Nolan is a Senior at Hartwick College and studies Political Science and Government. Joe is the student body President at his school and is very involved with local politics. He is active in policy and advocacy work; he served as an intern in Washington, D.C. where he worked on the 2018 Farm Bill. Joe is eager to use his community connections to advocate for carbon pricing policy. After graduation he plans on pursuing a career in social policy and environmental advocacy.


The 2018 elections in New York State gave Democrats in the state legislature a clear mandate to enact forward thinking policy. Our new Democratic majority in both legislative chambers allows the lawmaking body to pass legislation that will not only improve the lives of New Yorkers of today, but future generations as well.

As newly elected State Senators and Assembly Members take their seats in 2019 it is critical that climate change is one of their top priorities during the legislative session. If we have learned anything about the climate crisis in 2018, it is that we need to act now. The United Nations' IPCC report outlines the severity of a changing global climate; including a warmer atmosphere, disappearing coral reefs, and food shortages, all of which are not sustainable for a good quality of life on Earth.

It is crucial that New York State take a leading role in passing legislation to combat climate change, being that the current federal administration is not willing to do so. We must be proactive ---there is no other option-- if we want our planet to remain a viable source of life in the coming decades. The smartest option for the new state legislature to combat climate change this session is to enact a price on carbon emissions. Putting a price on carbon emissions will substantially reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into our atmosphere while incentivizing corporations to invest in clean energy.  

We are edging closer and closer to a point of no return and New York should be an example for the rest of the nation to enact bold policies to address the climate crisis. To do what is right is not always easy, but nonetheless it is what is right. Saving our environment is not only the right thing to do, it is the necessary thing to do.

We encourage all New Yorkers to write to and meet with their elected officials urging them to hold polluters accountable and price greenhouse gas emissions.

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