For Immediate Release
New York - Members of the Green Party of New York (GPNY) came out in full force to demand immediate and comprehensive action to address the planetary emergency of climate change at New York State Senate hearings held the week of February 10, 2019. Greens called for the elimination of new fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly the building of new gas pipelines and gas-fired power plants, and moving to a carbon-neutral, 100% clean, renewable energy economy by 2030. They emphasized the need for a just transition for workers and frontline communities most affected by climate change.
The hearings were convened by the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation to discuss how to strengthen and improve the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA, A3871/S2292). But Greens were quick to point out the bill’s shortcomings and to go on record in support of the Off Fossil Fuels Act (A3565 OFF Act – A5105 / S5908) and the recently released Green New Deal for New York Act (A5334/S2878A). They called for a climate bill that incorporates the strongest and best provisions of all the climate bills that have been introduced, noting that climate legislation should be combined with economic justice legislation as part of a broader Green New Deal.
“The CCPA as it is written now has some good provisions but is essentially the re-packaging of climate policies over the past few years with too long a time frame, not enough detail and too little monitoring of targets and progress. A plan based on outdated targets will have New York standing still while extreme weather events and toxic emissions overtake us,” said GPNY co-chair Gloria Mattera. Mattera also called for stopping the proposed fracked gas Williams pipeline slated to run under the seabed floor just beyond New York Harbor.
“I also urge the legislature to combine climate legislation with economic justice legislation as part of a broader Green New Deal,” said 2018 GPNY gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins. Pointing to the recent congressional resolution for a Green New Deal announced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, and the Green New Deal for New York Act announced by State Senator James Sanders and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Hawkins emphasized the linkage between climate safety and economic justice that Greens have long been advocating.
“Beyond the necessary provisions in a climate bill for environmental justice and a Just Transition for workers and communities most directly impacted by the energy transition, we need other legislation to secure the economic rights to employment, income, housing, health care, and education. These public guarantees will assure everyone that they will be economically secure as we convert to a 100% clean, renewable energy economy,” said Hawkins.
Speaking as chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund was Mark Dunlea, the GPNY comptroller candidate in 2018. “The United Nations recent IPCC report warned that the world has 12 years to take dramatic unprecedented action to avoid climate destruction,” said Dunlea. He called on the State Senate “to combine the best of the provisions of the NY OFF Act, the CCPA and the Governor’s proposal into the strongest climate legislation possible.”
Green Party leaders Jim Brown and Joseph Naham from Nassau County also testified at the hearings. To view the testimony of all Greens at the hearings, visit http://www.gpny.org/climate.