Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Climate Change

Climate Change

  • 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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  • For the Earth, It's Essential New York Leaders Pass Extended Producer Responsibility

    Trash (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New Yorkers buy and order a lot of stuff. And all of that stuff comes in packaging, all too much of it plastic. So much stuff that of the 17 million tons of waste generated annually in New York State, 40% comes from product packaging and paper products – plastic containers, glass bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, and other materials.

    Across the United States,...

  • Strengthening New York City’s Natural Areas to Tackle Unemployment and Climate Change

     

    Trees and jobs (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's)


    New York City’s20,000 acresof natural areas have been a lifeline for New Yorkers throughout the pandemic and form the first line of defense against the harms of climate change. But decades of underinvestment in the care and preservation of these vital open spaces threatens their longevity, even as surging visitation adds new stresses.

    At a time when New

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  • Elected Officials and Activists Call on Mayor to Fully Implement NYC 'Green New Deal'

    Thursday's rally (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    With climate crises bearing down on New York City, including hurricanes and tropical storms that flooded landlocked neighborhoods and killed more than a dozen New Yorkers last year, elected officials and activists are pressing Mayor Eric Adams to act with urgency in implementing a law to tackle carbon emissions in the city.

    At a rally in midtown Manhattan on Thursday morning, climate activists gathered with officials including Public

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  • Will New York City Be Ready to Implement Landmark Building Emissions Law?

    Buildings of New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York’s Climate Mobilization Act of 2019, billed a “Green New Deal” for the city, included a groundbreaking law to cut carbon emissions by the biggest buildings, and the biggest polluters, in the city through caps and mandated energy upgrades and retrofits — or face financial penalties. The first set of emissions caps are set to go into effect in 2024, and the city has the complicated task ahead of setting new rules and regulations by the start of 2023, a formidable task with 10 months to go.

    While Mayor Eric Adams’ administration

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  • ‘A Fundamental Shift’: New York’s Clean Energy Plans Move Ahead

    NYSERDA's Doreen Harris with Gov. Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    New York is well on its way to meeting its ambitious clean energy goals, according to one of the top state officials charged with implementation, and there are several major projects in the offing essential to moving from fossil fuels to a combination of wind, water, and solar power.

    Doreen Harris, the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA),

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  • The Climate Crisis Requires Bold Action: $15 Billion and Build Public Renewables Now

    (photo: Philip Kamrass/ New York Power Authority)

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


    In 2019, I took a vote in Albany that I remain proud of to this day: after supporting the bill for many years, I voted to finally pass the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). I thought we were on track. The CLCPA made New York a true leader on climate, committing our state to a rapid decarbonization of our economy and ensuring that we invest in frontline communities most impacted by pollution and climate

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  • The Climate Investment New York Needs to Make Now

    (photo: office of Cuomo)

    Construction jobs on the line (photo: Governor's Office)


    In 2019, New York passed one of the strongest climate bills in the country, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

    The CLCPA requires nothing less than a total transformation of our economy. Our state must reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and between now and then we must rapidly increase renewable energy production and decrease fossil fuel pollution. Critically, the law also requires that 35-40% of state climate and energy spending be directed to communities on the

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  • We Must Protect the New York-New Jersey Watershed

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    On the Hudson (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    The New York-New Jersey Watershed Protection Act is critical for maintaining our fisheries, protecting our wildlife, and conserving our natural resources, urban greenspaces, and coastal resources. This watershed, the land that channels New York and New Jersey’s largest waterways and rainfall into the Hudson-Raritan Harbor Estuary, benefits us in many ways. Restoration efforts for the numerous waterways flowing through the Hudson Valley and New Jersey are scarce and

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  • To Keep the Lights on in New York City, Look to Renewable Energy

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    Renewable energy for New York City (photo: Governor's Office)


    Climate extremes in New York are on the rise, from flooding to excessive heat. The city is experiencing frequent heat waves, including three last year, when temperatures soared to 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for three consecutive days. Five of the hottest Julys on record occurred between 2010 and 2020.

    Part of how we tackle climate change is by implementing and supporting wise energy policy that brings on more non-carbon-emitting energy. We need to prioritize how

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  • Max Politics Podcast: New York's Clean Energy Vision

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    NYSERDA CEO Doreen Harris, left, with DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos (photo: @Doreen_M_Harris)


    January 28, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: New York's Clean Energy Vision

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    photo: Rex Linga

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  • The Dangerous Persistence of Plastic, and What New York City Needs To Do About It

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    Garbage (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Our trashy story begins with a wartime question: after mass-producing aluminum, steel, and plastics for the military to fight Nazis, what happens when the war is over? What if, instead of reverting to peacetime manufacturing, America could charge ahead, simultaneously creating and fulfilling a civilian “need?”

    The rest is advertising history. Over the course of a few

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  • 7 Climate Steps for the Adams Administration to Move New York City Ahead

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    Eric Adams at a climate rally (photo: Office of Eric Adams)


    Earlier this month, Senator Joe Manchin appeared to scuttle the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better bill, which promised to be America’s largest ever investment into clean energy.  Just like that, local governments – which have been shouldering the climate leadership load for the last decade – could be losing their best chance to see active federal investment to avert the climate crisis now underway.

    Luckily, cities like New York are already leading. This

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  • To Help Increase Resiliency, New York City Needs More Community-Tailored Climate Information

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    Protecting NYC from climate change (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Climate change seriously upped its impact this year in New York City. Hurricane Ida produced historic rainfall and flooding, which triggered flash flood warnings across all five boroughs for the first time ever and caused at least ...

  • New York City’s Next Big Chance to Help Save Itself and the Planet

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    The #GasFreeNYC push (photo: @weact4ej)


    It’s hard to wrap one’s head around, but the city’s future existence is in serious danger as more climate pollution spews into the atmosphere. Simply put: with over 500 miles of coastline and the subway and utilities underground, there may be no way for New York City to survive substantially higher sea levels. To save our city, and so many other precious places, every government, worldwide, needs to take action to slash climate pollution. 

    Fortunately, the New York City Council is considering ending gas in

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