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Press release/statement

New York Can Be a Leader on Climate Change

On Friday, February 15, Lew Daly, Senior Policy Analyst at Demos, testified in support of New York State’s Climate and Community Protection Act. Following is Daly’s statement on the bill: 

New York State’s Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) is a bold and necessary climate action policy for the people of New York. It will establish the strongest mandate for economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the country, requiring a 50 percent reduction by 2030 and set a timeline for achieving a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050. 

The current tidal wave of federal attacks on environmental regulation and climate change policy only magnifies the importance of passing this groundbreaking legislation. 

Equally important to Demos–an organization focused on economic justice, racial equity, and democratic empowerment–is that renewable energy goals in the bill align with employment and equity goals for New York State residents. Investments to support transitioning New York to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 will create and support 150,000 high-quality jobs per year in the first 10 years and add more than $11 billion in additional income for workers across the state. 

With targeted investment in communities that need it most, a majority of the new jobs generated by CCPA investments can benefit working-class residents, women, and people of color, and help create greater economic equity for families and communities historically and systemically excluded from economic opportunity and positions of power.

CCPA should establish strong standards to diversify employment and contracting in the renewable energy transition.

New Yorkers will enjoy substantial economic gains under a comprehensive renewable energy transition as proposed in the CCPA. Given the devastating effects of climate change, the dire need for good-paying jobs and our desire to showcase New York as a leader on these issues, the big question is: how can we afford not to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by investing in a complete and accelerated renewable energy transition? 

That’s what our elected leaders should be asking themselves—and thankfully many are—if they care about jobs, opportunity, and well-being for the people of New York.