This week, the New York State legislature passed the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which sets the strongest greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards in the country.
As young New Yorkers from the generations most affected by climate change, we are proud and celebrate that the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (formerly the Climate and Community Protection Act - S2992/A3876) has passed the New York State legislature. The legislation sets the strongest greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards in the country, legally requiring 85% emissions reduction economy-wide with an overall goal of 100% by 2050 and mandating zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2040. This is a huge step forward towards protecting our future. However, there is still important work to be done to center climate justice and ensure frontline communities and workers are protected. We will continue to advocate for key justice and labor provisions that were cut from the original legislation. We are deeply grateful to the leadership of the NY Renews coalition, Assemblymember Steve Englebright, and State Senator Todd Kaminksy.
Our Climate is a proud member of NY Renews, a coalition comprised of 180 organizations advocating for climate justice in New York. Since joining the coalition in 2017, Our Climate’s young leaders have mobilized students at 21 campuses across the state - from Ithaca and Binghamton, to Rochester and Albany - to build support for an economy-wide transition to renewable energy. Our team has engaged over 430 students in legislative advocacy efforts, organized 2 Youth Lobby Days which brought 48 young people to Albany; and held 30 advocacy trainings & events. Young people played an important role in the effort to build support for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and we are proud of their work.
Below are statements from student representatives of Our Climate on the passage of the climate legislation.
“After educating other young people about the Climate and Community Protection Act and lobbying my State Senator and Assembly Member in-district and in Albany, I am excited New York is committed to drastically reducing emissions and investing in a transition off fossil fuels. The Climate and Community Protection Act is about more than just fighting climate change. It is about investing in our future by marking the smart decision to let go of old and outdated technology and move forward in bringing about sustainable economic growth.” Elizabeth Aranguiz, Our Climate Fellow ‘19, Stony Brook University
“The passage of the CCPA is monumental, not only for New York, but for the climate movement nationally. We can no longer take baby steps, instead we must continue to make ambitious goals and policies that tackle climate change. I am pleased to see that New York is committed to this fight and I look forward to observing how this might motivate and inspire other state or federal policies. I am disappointed that the provisions for workers were removed. The point of the CCPA was to ensure a just transition away from fossil fuels but these amendments sacrifice those core values. “ - Morgan Lee Margulies, Our Climate Fellow ‘19, Columbia University
"I am so pleased to see that New York state is leading the way in climate legislation. Climate change is an immediate global crisis, and hopefully the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act will be the first of many steps in the right direction towards a sustainable future for coming generations. When nothing gets done nationally, states can lead the way on climate legislation." - Lucy Battle, Our Climate Fellow '19, Skidmore College
This is a huge win for New Yorkers and the bill will serve as a powerful model for future federal legislation and inspire other states to follow suit. We are eager to work with NY Renews and other partners to ensure successful implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. With the historic passage of this bill behind us, our young leaders in New York State will advocate for the Climate and Community Investment Act, an important “sister bill” to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, that prices greenhouse gas pollution and invests the revenue into renewable energy projects and a just transition.
For interviews, contact Nicole Crescimanno (New York State Director of Our Climate) at email@example.com