by Paula Shaw, IINYS Board Member

The Climate and Community Protection Act A.8270/S.7971A, New York’s signature climate bill, passed the Assembly in April 2018 with wide support, but has languished in the Senate for the last three years. Now there is renewed hope for its passage in the Senate. However, there are undoubtedly members in both houses who voted for the bill counting on a defeat in the Senate. So, it is important to stay vigilant and encourage your representatives to support the bill.

To help in understanding the bill, here are some bullet points offered by the author of the bill, Assembly Member Steve Englebright: “This bill would: 1) put New York on track to minimize the effects of climate change; 2) shape the ongoing transition in the state’s energy sector to ensure that it creates good jobs, and protect workers and communities that may lose employment in the transition; 3) prioritize the safety and health  of disadvantaged communities; 4) review and prioritize the allocation of certain public investments.”  The bill would require DEC to set state-wide greenhouse gas emissions limits and greenhouse gas reporting requirements.

IINYS also supports another bill, introduced by Steve Englebright in the Assembly and Senator David Carlucci in the Senate, amending the New York State constitution to guarantee New Yorkers the right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment. If passed by both houses, it will require passage in the next consecutive session of the legislature, after which it will be on the ballot for voter approval in fall of the same year. It is important to move on effective climate legislation this year. To hear an inspiring National Town Hall on Solving Our Climate Crisis with Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben and others, put “u tube, Bernie sanders, national town hall, 12/3/18” into your browser and the video will come up.