Gotham Gazette

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Climate Change

Climate Change

  • Victorious, Now Governor Hochul Needs to Lead on Climate

    Gov. Hochul makes a green jobs announcement (photo: Governor's Office)


    Governor Kathy Hochul won election in a low turnout race thanks to progressive activists, elected officials, and organizations who showed up to get out the vote. Now it’s time for her to deliver on her campaign’s climate promises and pass the Climate, Jobs and Justice legislative package.

    It has been three years since New York passed its landmark climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In that time, the state has ...

  • New York Voters Approve $4.2 Billion Environmental Bond Act

    Gov. Hochul at a climate action announcement (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Voters across New York have approved $4.2 billion in state borrowing proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature to pay for major projects environmentalists say are key to developing a more robust response to climate change and pollution.

    In numbers sure to shift as more votes are counted, initial election night tallies showed about 68% of voters approving the measure, 28% disapproving, and 12% of voters not weighing in at all. The Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act

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  • Arguments For and Against Question 1 on the 2022 New York Ballot, The $4.2 Billion Environmental Bond Act

    Then-Lt. Gov. Hochul opens a solar farm (photo: Philip Kamrass/ New York Power Authority)


    On the back of every New Yorker's ballot this fall is a question: whether or not to allow the state to borrow $4.2 billion to pay for major clean environment and climate change mitigation infrastructure.

    The provision, known as the "Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act," would authorize the state comptroller to sell bonds on behalf of the State of New York to pay for projects related to greenhouse gas emissions, flood risk, clean water, land conservation, and other climate-related

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  • Ten Years After Sandy, New York is More Resilient Than Ever, with More Work to Do

    Resilient planning (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Ten years ago, New York City received one of the biggest wake-up calls in its history – climate change was here, and we were not ready.

    Superstorm Sandy, which killed 44 New Yorkers and caused $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity, was the first massive climate-change-driven storm to hit the five boroughs — and, as we are now well-aware, it wouldn’t be the last. We did learn some very important lessons.

    First among them: if we are going to build, and rebuild, we need to build resiliently. That is

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  • Still Planning for Climate Change Ten Years After Sandy

    Climate resiliency envisioning (photo: mayor's office)


    Superstorm Sandy’s impact on New York City must not be forgotten: 44 people died citywide, over 69,000 homes were damaged, and Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhoods flooded in an area more than twice as large as the 100-year floodplain. Over 2 million New Yorkers lost power, stranding some residents – especially those in public housing – for weeks before power was restored. 

    Now it’s a decade later and we’re still recovering from the last storm and completely

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  • Council Examines City's Renewable Energy Progress, Future Plans

    Rooftop solar (photo: Governor's Office)


    As Mayor Eric Adams’ administration follows ambitious mandates to achieve carbon neutrality over the next few decades, the City Council on Thursday examined the state of renewable energy infrastructure in the city, needs for the future, and both city and state legislation that could help expedite the path towards a zero-emissions energy grid and economy.

    At a hearing of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, chaired by Queens Council Member Jim Gennaro, administration officials testified to ongoing efforts at sourcing and converting to

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  • Max Politics Podcast: The Environmental Bond Act Ballot Proposal and Other Key Climate Issues

    Rooftop solar panels (photo: Gabriel López Albarrán)


    October 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Environmental Bond Act Ballot Proposal and Other Key Climate Issues

    Proposal 1 on the 2022 general election ballot is a statewide referendum on the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act, which New York voters will approve or disapprove this fall. Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Amy Chester, managing director of Rebuild by Design, joined the show to discuss the bond act and other major New York climate issues.

    Listen to the

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  • In Governor's Race, Hochul and Zeldin Differ Greatly on Climate Issues

    Gov. Hochul with electric vehicles (photo: office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    In a race with many clear differences, there may be no issue on which Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin are offering more divergent visions in this year’s New York gubernatorial election than on climate and environmental policy.

    While Hochul seeks a full term to continue implementation of New York’s sweeping shift to renewable energy and advance many policies related to environmental protection, Zeldin has been

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  • Recharge NYC Climate Policies; City Government Must Finally Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles

    Electric vehicle charging (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It’s Climate Week but you don’t need to be an environmental expert to see the devastation and daily effect that fossil-fuel driven climate change has on our communities. 

    Whether it’s the oppressive heat waves rolling over our cities, families being washed away by deadly flash floods, or any of the other extreme weather events we have to contend with now as part of our day-to-day lives, the immediate and irreparable impact of the quickening pace of climate change is all around us.

    This scary scenario begs the

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  • To Protect New York from the Climate Crisis, We Must Transform Our Streets

    Eastern Parkway (photo: NYC Parks)


    It’s another record-breaking hot summer in New York, and we can all agree that the climate crisis is already here. Sweltering days, terrifying flash floods, and increasingly poor air quality are putting all New Yorkers at risk,especially those living in historically underinvested communities. ...

  • To Beat Extreme Heat, New York City Needs to Look to the Streets

    Street heat (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    It's summer in New York City, and the word on the street is heat – literally. Some of the hottest places are the pavement itself,including the city’s 6,300 miles of streets and highways. To more effectively address urban heat islands, New York City would benefit from a cohesive, science-based approach that studies

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  • What Does the Supreme Court EPA Ruling Mean for New York Climate Efforts?

    Gov. Hochul cuts a solar farm ribbon (photo: Philip Kamrass/ New York Power Authority)


    Elected and appointed officials, candidates for office, and environmental activists in New York  were reenergized to fight against climate change locally in the wake of a June Supreme Court ruling that limits the power of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    The decision in West

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  • Senate Deal Could Mean Big Boost to New York Climate Efforts

    Senator Chuck Schumer (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    ***Update: The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act in a party-line vote on Sunday, August 7, though with some changes since the original deal was announced by Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin. The final agreement included a narrower corporate minimum tax and dropped the closure of the carried interest loophole, at the urging of Senator Kyrsten Sinema, though Schumer added an excise tax on stock buybacks to the bill. Republicans, on the other hand, blocked a cap on the price of insulin under private

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  • NY-10 Candidates Talk Climate Action at Environment-Focused Forum

    Candidates Niou, Rivera, Simon at Tuesday's forum (photo: The Cooper Union/Marget Long)


    Several Democratic candidates running to represent New York’s new 10th congressional district answered questions related to climate and sustainability challenges facing the district and New York City during a forum held at The Great Hall in Cooper Union Tuesday evening. Such issues are especially relevant in the district given that much of it is along the waterfront, whether its Manhattan or Brooklyn side.

    The panel, hosted by the New York League of

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  • New City Budget Includes Some Added Funding to Implement Landmark Building Emissions Law

    A rally for green jobs outside City Hall (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    In 2024, New York City will begin capping emissions from the city’s largest buildings – which are its worst polluters – under Local Law 97, which was approved as part of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act of 2019. The law requires buildings to be retrofitted with energy-efficient and sustainable systems – upgrading heating and cooling systems, possibly installing solar energy, for instance – to significantly reduce their carbon footprint to meet those emissions caps, or otherwise face hefty

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  • Slate of Insurgent Candidates Focused on Climate Seizes on Failure of State Bill

    Climate march (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Democrat-led state Legislature ended its session over the weekend without passing any additional major pieces of climate-related legislation that some legislators and activists had been pushing for months. The failure to act has provided renewed vigor to several candidates running in the primaries this year who had already been centering climate action in their campaigns, many of them challenging incumbent Democrats.

    They say that the state must take immediate and extraordinary action as the adverse effects of climate change continue

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  • New York Deserves the Future Promised by 30x30

    Precious New York (photo: Carl Heilman/Governor's Office)


    Warmer spring weather ushers in reminders of the natural beauty we have in New York, from the vibrant blooms of the dogwood and magnolia trees to the return of migratory birds singing. People swarm back to our local parks where picnic baskets and roller skates make a long-awaited resurgence. The Hudson River teems to life with the reappearance of kayakers who can be spotted from way above by hikers in the Catskills.

    We enjoy some of the most marvelous landscapes the United

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  • Bitcoin Mining is Gobbling Up New York's Precious Renewable Energy

     

    Bitcoin is a popular cryptocurrency (photo: Kanchanara)


    Like time inSteve Miller’s classic-rock song, New York’s decarbonization targets keep slipping into the future.

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  • New York City Electeds, Advocates Outline Priorities for State Climate Action Council

    Mayor Adams and others discuss wind energy plans (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York’s sweeping Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 set the state on a path to reaching net-zero emissions over the next three decades. The law established a Climate Action Council that drafted a framework for achieving that goal, and is now more than halfway through the process of seeking public input on its proposed plan. 

    The Council held its seventh public hearing on Tuesday in Brooklyn, out of

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  • ‘Public Solar NYC’ Rooftop Renewable Energy Plan in Development

    Rooftop solar (photo: Ethan Geringer-Sameth)


    It was a small world on the roof of a five-storey co-op in West Harlem where Michael Anglin, the building’s treasurer, was showing off its solar panels.

    New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and a team from his office were touring the configuration to understand what went into installing it in the heavily-regulated city, considered by industry insiders to be one of the hardest markets in the world to erect solar panels. Also there was Rit Aggarwala, Lander's long-time associate

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  • During Earth Week, Advocates Press New York State and City Leaders to Go Bolder on Climate Policy

    Climate action (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    With the global climate crisis heading to the point of no return, dozens of climate activist groups are rallying ahead of Earth Day, April 22, calling on Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature to pass a a raft of bills they say are crucial to the local and global effort to fight climate change, global warming, and their ill effects.

    The bills include efforts to cut carbon emissions, build green infrastructure, reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, prevent harmful cryptocurrency mining, and create tens of thousands of

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  • Adams Administration Officials Outline Preparations for Massive Influx of Federal Infrastructure Funding

    Infrastructure underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The $1.2 trillion infrastructure law enacted in November by Congress and President Joe Biden is expected to funnel about $27 billion to New York State, with a hefty portion of that funding flowing to New York City. The City Council wants to ensure that those resources will be used well and distributed equitably across the city, and at a hearing on Tuesday, Council members sought plans from Mayor Eric Adams’ nascent administration to accomplish that goal. 

    Tuesday’s joint hearing was held by the Council’s Committee on

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Earth Week 2022, with Julie Tighe & Daniel Zarrilli on New York Climate Policy

    Earth Week 2022 in New York (photo: Office of Governor Hochul)


    April 19, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Earth Week 2022 in New York, with Julie Tighe & Daniel Zarrilli

    Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Daniel Zarrilli is the Special Advisor on Climate & Sustainability at Columbia University and former New York City Chief Climate Policy Advisor, joined the show during Earth Week 2022 to discuss New York climate and environmental policy. 

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Resilient Public Schools are Key to Our Children’s and Our City’s Future

    The future of schools in NYC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Two years after lockdown, we’re entering a new phase of the pandemic. Mask and vaccine mandates have been rolled back across the state, and we’re eager to return to some kind of ‘normal.’ We have a new mayor and a new City Council, being tested for the first time. And we’re at a crossroads: what lessons have we learned? How can we ensure that our city is resilient, not just in the face of another health crisis or a new variant, but universally?

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  • New York Can and Must Stop Insurance Companies from Fueling the Climate Crisis

    Gov. Hochul (photo: office of governor Kathy Hochul)


    We are often told that insurance companies are “like a good neighbor” or “on our side.” And for many things in life this is true. But when it comes to climate change—the single greatest threat to global health and security—insurance companies could be making things much more dangerous for all of us.

    Why? Because as long as insurers continue to underwrite and invest in fossil fuel companies, the companies will continue to pump emissions into our

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