Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Climate Change

Climate Change

  • may fight change

    The current comptroller, Scott Stringer, with Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Perhaps the single most important thing the New York City Comptroller can do to combat climate change is to insist that companies in which we invest our $230 billion of pension money adopt the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure. This year, we will pick a new comptroller. We should insist that all candidates for the job pledge to call on companies to agree to the new reporting

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  • mta led installed

    Green investments are the future (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    2021 has the potential to be a pivotal year for New Yorkers. Vaccine distribution is underway, and plans are being drafted to rebuild New York’s economy. As state leaders consider how to address the state’s deficit and create a sustainable future, investing in environmental programs is the answer. 

    Environmental programs, such as the Environmental Protection Fund, are proven to aid in state economic recovery, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen local economies while protecting our

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  • lincoln restler garden compost

    Lincoln Restler, the author


    With unprecedented environmental catastrophes and more hundred-year storms each passing year, the climate crisis is fully upon us. Our leaders of government and industry have failed to rise to the greatest challenge facing our planet. That abdication of responsibility is inexcusable, but we don’t have time to wait for them to get it together. We need to lead the way. As a City Council candidate, I have a plan to make my district - Brooklyn’s own 33rd - the first carbon neutral district in New York and the United

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  • 5 video brief climate

    Mayor de Blasio, Comptroller Stringer & others (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    In this episode, we discuss the issues of climate change and resiliency, and key aspects of what candidates in the 2021 New York City elections are considering as they present their visions for the future of the city, protecting it from the impacts of climate change, fostering a green economy, and more.

  • day 3 gov

    (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his third of four planned State of the State speeches this week on Wednesday, detailing a strategy to fuel the state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with a green energy infrastructure and jobs program.

    The transition to a green economy is a part of Cuomo’s broader 2021 State of the State agenda that he unveiled on Monday and has elaborated on in subsequent speeches. On Tuesday, he outlined an economic recovery plan that includes a mass rapid testing program to help people

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  • op p biden

    Joe Biden with solar panels (photo: Christopher Dilts/Biden for President)


    Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. Global warming and extreme weather are accelerating.

    We need Joe Biden to be the Climate President, especially after the four lost years under  climate-denier Donald Trump. This begins with Biden taking comprehensive executive action on climate change on day one.

    A number of large coalitions (e.g., ClimatePresident.org) have outlined a comprehensive list of executive actions

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  • NYC Green New Deal rally Trump Tower

    An NYC Green New Deal event (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A coalition of climate-conscious groups is calling on candidates running for citywide and City Council positions in this year’s full slate of city government elections to sign a pledge to create a Green New Deal for New York City, with specific policy proposals.

    The pledge asks that candidates who sign both advocate and vote for Green New Deal policies at the city level. The recommended policies aim to end fossil fuel infrastructure, create more

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  • Kathryn Garcia

    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Kathryn Garcia is running for mayor chiefly on her city government experience, but she’s also pitching voters on her ideas for the future, and where the two merge: the notion that she has the right plans and can execute them. The city sanitation commissioner for six years until she stepped down to run for mayor, Garcia has also been interim chair of the city’s public housing authority, NYCHA, the covid emergency “food czar,” and in other roles under Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom she has sharply criticized early on in her

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  • cm attends bridge

    A path to greener pastures (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As New York City plans for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must first examine the ways our environmental decisions have contributed to public health abuses in the past and enact a green recovery program that centers the wellbeing of long-ignored communities.

    New York City has a long history of environmental racism and injustice.

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  • mta pro el

    An electric bus (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit)


    This has been a year of unexpected and devastating loss with the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States already surpassing 300,000. In New York City, bus drivers, train operators, and other transit workers have shown up everyday to keep the city moving forward through the spring peak and now into a second wave of infections. 

    But there is a cost to providing transit services during a pandemic. And the cost is more than ...

  • green hunter point

    An NYC Green New Deal announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    Though the coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread devastation for New York, it has hurt some communities more than others. New Yorkers of color have been more likely to die from the virus and, despite making up a larger share of so-called essential workers, have been more likely to lose their jobs because of the outbreak’s economic recession.

    With the city still in the process of a somewhat halting “reopening” and attempting to rebuild its struggling economy, a coalition of

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  • mta disinfected covid

    Governor Cuomo talks subways (photo: governor's office)


    A city on the precipice of financial collapse. A federal government unwilling to provide help. Thousands of jobs and vital programs on the line. This was the situation in New York City in 1975, but this description is not far off from the picture in 2020.

    Though the causes of these two crises were different, the effect will most likely be the same: massive budget cuts, especially to new projects. During the 1970s, the MTA was implementing plans to expand the subway system, including building the

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  • climate activists

    Pushing for a climate plan (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    From Superstorm Sandy to Tropical Storm Isaías, climate change threatens all New Yorkers. That policymakers have largely not acted on this threat in a meaningful way is a profound failure. Now is the time to rectify that lack of action.

    In New York at least, our new Democratic State Senate majority took power in 2019 and answered the call. Our Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) is a nation-leading effort to fight back, putting our state on track for net zero

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  • paper recy si

    Garbage time (photo: Michael Anton/Department of Sanitation)


    Unequal impacts of COVID-19 on low-income Black and brown communities have magnified the consequences of our unsustainable working and living processes and accumulated environmental injustices.

    The highest rates of pandemic-related deaths are in the same communities that have long breathed more polluted air and who deal day-to-day with heightened police violence. The accelerating climate crisis will amplify both of these forms of violence as the stagnant quality of hot air concentrates local pollution and local

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  • access damage updates

    It's time to better prepare (photo: governor's office)


    New York has faced its share of disasters, and each one seemed impossible and unprecedented until it actually happened. 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, and now COVID-19 each took a dramatic toll on our social and physical infrastructure,  the state’s economy, and our very way of life. 

    We always recover, but we must break the cycle of rebuilding and plan for future risk instead. Any threats must be taken seriously as many communities are already overextended and strained. Hurricane

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  • american wind

    A New. York wind farm (photo: @nyserda)


    Prologue
    At the stroke of midnight, as April gave way to May, one hundred drones with diamond-brazed hacksaws descended on a remote section of the New York-New Jersey Bight. Methodically, diabolically, they set to their task: lopping off a thousand or more turbine blades whose spinning motion enabled the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. When the sun rose on May 1 it revealed a stark sight: 400 supertall towers stripped bare. Twelve hundred blades, three per tower, that for decades had

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  • ann state legal

    The current crisis reminds us of the past and warns us about the future (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Everyone on Long Island remembers how it felt during Hurricane Sandy. We were paralyzed, waiting for the storm to pass, fearing for our families, homes, and basic needs. When the skies finally cleared, and we saw the scale of the destruction, it was clear that no individual one of us was strong enough, connected enough, or resourced enough to recover alone. We needed each other, we needed our community, we needed to come

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  • plans signi expand

    Is the post-coronavirus future renewable? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    There have been many hard-learned lessons from COVID-19, but by far the most tragic – paid for with the lives of tens of thousands of people – is that when it comes to dealing with a public health crisis, preparation and proactive planning is the only approach that can keep our worst nightmares from becoming a reality. While New York is still far from reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, many inside and outside of government have rightly begun to envision what a restart to our economy

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  • divest ny fos

    A protest to push for New York pension system divestment from fossil fuel stocks (photo: @350)


    The oil and gas industries are experiencing significant upheaval as the coronavirus pandemic decimates economies across the globe. The price of crude oil in the United States temporarily fell below $0 per barrel for the first time ever last month, prompting renewed energy among activists and elected officials in New York who want to rid the state pension fund of all investments in the fossil fuel industry.

    But the one person they must convince, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli,

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  • reynoso celebrate renovate

    City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, the author (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    These months will go down as one of the most trying periods in our city’s history. We are consumed by the grief of lost loved ones, colleagues, and neighbors, while facing a level of economic uncertainty not seen in generations. In this moment of crisis, many of us feel compelled to put on blinders and focus solely on addressing the present situation, and there is no doubt that efforts to combat COVID-19 will require vast resources and attention from our best

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  • joint ind board

    The future is renewable, the author writes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day—Wednesday, April 22, 2020—, the world is in crisis. An unbearable number of lives lost each day. Livelihoods disappearing or threatened. And the uncertainty of what might come next is disrupting communities. Our infrastructure is strained to the brink and our most marginalized communities are bearing a disproportionate brunt of the pain. I’m of course talking about the ongoing devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The tragedy is that these

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  • gov statewide research

    Key themes of the first Earth Day remain on the 50th (photo: governor's office)


    A half-century ago, the United States celebrated the first Earth Day. In New York City, Fifth Avenue connected Union Square Park and Central Park with tens of thousands of New Yorkers celebrating the environment and urging their government to take swift and decisive action to protect their air and water. Today, 50 years later, the world has been put on pause to combat a health crisis unseen in generations. But while we are unable to again take to the streets to mark

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  • mayor exec reliiance

    Coronavirus presents an additional challenge & opportunity (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Our atmosphere is getting a breath of fresh air, but it’s not because of the Paris Agreement or any political awakening to the climate crisis. It’s because of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Yet even as emissions fall and we put our highly-carbonized business-as-usual on pause (from fewer people and planes flying to less driving and overall

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  • built fresh park

    renewable energy and the future of New York power (photo: Mayor's Office)


    In a recent Gotham Gazette column, Richard Webster, legal director for Riverkeeper, writes that “New York Has Already Moved Beyond Indian Point Nuclear Power; Here’s Where We’re Headed.” While Riverkeeper, the Westchester-based environmental group that has spearheaded the decades-long push to close Indian Point, may have moved on, the rest of us will be dealing with

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