Green Party Slams Hochul’s Effort to Gut the state’s Climate Agenda

Green Party of New York

Media Release

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2023
For More info: Gloria Mattera, [email protected], 917-886-4538
Peter LaVenia, [email protected], 518-495-8001
Mark Dunlea, [email protected], 518 860-3725

Green Party Slams Hochul’s Effort to Gut the state’s Climate Agenda

The Green Party of New York slammed Governor Hochul and Senator Parker for seeking to change the accounting rules on greenhouse emissions in order to appease the fossil fuel industry.

“The Green Party in 2010 called for a Green New Deal, combining a ten-year timeline to transition to 100% clean renewable energy and zero emissions with comprehensive economic rights including a guaranteed living wage job, single payer universal health care, and affordable housing. 14 years later, the state gets only 5% of its electricity from wind and solar, and greenhouse gas emissions globally continue to rise. The Democrats remain unwilling to put the needs of the people ahead of the profits and campaign contributions of the fossil fuel industry,” said Gloria Mattera, co-chair of the state Green Party.

Governor Hochul and the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Energy Committees are pushing legislation to reduce greenhouse emission reduction targets by changing the accounting rules for methane. Methane is 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas during its first 20 years in the atmosphere than carbon.

The Green Party had promoted the much stronger Off Fossil Fuels / 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 Act rather than the much weaker CLCPA which largely reflects climate goals developed prior to the 2014 Paris climate meeting. The greenhouse emission reduction goal in the CLCPA of 40% by 2030 for instance is much weaker than the goal adopted by the Biden administration (52% by 2030).

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recently warned that the world will blow past the 1.5 degrees C target for global warming by the middle of the next decade. While the IPCC calls for a 43 to 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, it acknowledges that such goals are grossly inadequate and thus calls for massive investments in carbon capture technology. This speculative technology promoted by the fossil fuel industry has not been shown to be viable despite decades and tens of billions of dollars invested in research. Many climate scientists view the IPCC as understating the dire nature of global warming. Many climate scientists also point out that rich industrial nations like the U.S. should cut their emissions much faster than the developing world.

“We need political leaders with the courage to Say NO to fossil fuels. We need to immediately stop allowing gas into new buildings and develop a plan to phase out all fossil fuel use within a decade. Instead of continuing to provide massive subsidies to fossil fuels, we need to make the polluters pay for the tens of billions of dollars in the damage they inflict on New York residents from their pollution. And we need politicians to acknowledge that capitalism is a root cause of the climate crisis, and instead of tweaking the market, they need to adopt economic policies that prioritize the common good,” added Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States and author of Putting Out the Planetary Fire.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that governments provide a global subsidy of $6 trillion to the fossil fuel industry, largely by failing to hold them financially accountable for the damages caused by burning fossil fuels.

The Green Party supports raising at least $15 billion annually in new climate funding, starting with a carbon tax of at least $60 a ton (quickly ramping up to $120) rather than the cap-and-trade (invest) program the Governor is pushing. Cap-and-trade is opposed by environmental justice groups and Pope Francis since it is subject to financial manipulation and has often failed to cut emissions (and even increases them in EJ communities in California). The Greens support the Climate Superfund Act to target the biggest greenhouse gas polluters. The Green Party would also provide several billion dollars annually in rebates to offset the price increase in fossil fuels and to subsidize consumer investments in clean energy technology such as air heat pumps. The state carbon tax bill it supports would rebate 60% of the revenues to low-and-moderate income consumers.

The Greens have long advocated for public power. It wants NYPA (New York Power Authority) and the 52 municipal energy systems to build renewable energy and wants grassroots democratic control of such systems. It supports the proposal to decarbonize the state’s buildings, but with a 2030 timeline rather than 2040. It would start with converting the State Capitol and Empire State Plaza to 100% renewable energy within 3 years; the state has polluted the low-income Sheridan Hollow community of color for nearly a century to power the state complex.

The Greens would also strengthen the state’s goals for helping environmental justice communities by doubling the target to invest 70% of climate funds in such communities. The Greens have long advocated for a Just Transition, including guaranteeing wages for five years from former workers in the fossil fuels and nuclear industry.

“The United Nations has made it clear that politicians are not acting anywhere fast enough to avoid climate chaos. The latest efforts by Democratic leaders to gut an already tepid-respond to the climate emergency is a call for the people of New York to demand new leadership. There is no more time waste if we want a chance for a decent future for our children and grandchildren,” added professor Peter LaVenia, a co-chair of the Party.

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  • Sandy Przybylak
    published this page in Press Releases 2023-04-03 15:32:45 -0400