Gotham Gazette

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Climate Change

Climate Change

  • The Most Important Infrastructure Project You’ve Never Heard Of: Improving the Massive $52 Billion Flood Protection Plan for NYC

    Storm barriers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    This week, on the heels of the latest sobering United Nations climate change report, the nextround of public input will close for one of the largest public infrastructure projects ever to be considered for the New York City

  • New York Families Demand A Climate Budget

    Rallying for Climate Justice (photo: Chandra Bocci)

    We write this on behalf of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, educators, and caregivers deeply concerned for our children’s futures. Over the next few weeks, Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will finalize the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. When they do, they must remember their littlest constituents and include the full...

  • For Our Climate Future and Good Jobs, It’s Time to ‘Upgrade New York’ at State-Owned Properties

    Gov. Hochul talks clean energy (photo: office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    It’s time to Upgrade New York. 

    Last summer Governor Hochul signed the Utility Thermal Energy and Jobs Act, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, which passed unanimously in the Senate and nearly unanimously in the Assembly. This first-in-the nation law — supported by the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, New York State AFL-CIO, utilities, climate justice organizations, building industry

  • The Inflation Reduction Act is a Boon for New York’s Economy, Communities, and Climate Efforts

    (Credit: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    Sixty-thousand electric vehicle (EV) chargers on New York’s highways. Dozens of large-scale solar and battery storage plants, many of them in the state’s most disadvantaged counties. The largest planned deployment of offshore wind projects in the United States. Thousands of new good-paying green-energy jobs, with skills training programs to ensure they can be filled. 

    New York’s already robust clean energy economy has been soaring in recent months, especially when

  • For a Just Energy Transition that Preserves Jobs, Clean Hydrogen Must Be Part of the Playbook


    Gov. Hochul celebrates clean hydrogen (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)

    Too often, conversations about how to address climate change have a glaring blind spot. Supporters and opponents frequently debate the merits of various clean energy solutions and argue over where to locate wind turbines and solar fields. But one key piece of the clean energy puzzle remains conspicuously absent: the people who will build and operate clean energy facilities.

    We are encouraged to see that Governor Hochul is addressing the

  • How New York Will Implement the $4.2 Billion Environmental Bond Act Passed by Voters in 2022

    Projects underway (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)

    After voters overwhelmingly approved it last fall, state officials expect to issue the first bonds under the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins April 1. It will take years to spend the entire sum, aimed at addressing some of the state's most dire climate and environmental needs.

    The bond act authorizes the state to raise its general obligation debt to support public works in four broad categories: climate change mitigation, flood risk reduction, water quality improvement, and land

  • Max Politics Podcast: The Climate Action Council's Plan for New York's Future


    Doreen Harris & Basil Seggos (photo: @Doreen_M_Harris)

    December 22, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Climate Action Council's Plan for New York's Future

    The Co-Chairs of New York's Climate Action Council -- Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris -- joined the show to discuss the newly-passed NYS Climate Action Council Scoping Plan, "which outlines recommended policies and actions to help meet the goals and requirements of the nation-leading Climate

  • City Council Pushes State on Climate Plan, Allocation of Environmental Bond Act Funds

    Council Members Lincoln Restler, center, & Jim Gennaro (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)

    The New York City Council is calling on Governor Kathy Hochul, the State Legislature, and other environmental leaders to strongly consider New York City as they plan and implement the next phases of the state’s sweeping climate agenda.

    In a resolution adopted Wednesday the Council is urging the state to allocate New York City its

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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