Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Climate Change

Climate Change

  • For the Earth's Sake, Enforce Bus Lanes with Cameras

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    (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    Transit policy is climate policy. In New York, transportation emits 30% of the city’s carbon pollution and 34% of the state’s. Since it’s easier to drive less in a city than in suburban and rural areas, much of that is carbon we can easily spare. When shrinking New York’s carbon footprint, transportation emissions are low-hanging fruit.

    Granted, the challenge is stiff. Car registrations in the city are rising, up 9% in the past four years. The city’s own government vehicle fleet has grown 19% in size and 25% in miles traveled in the past five

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  • Pushed on Climate Legislation, Cuomo Tries to Set Himself Apart

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    Cuomo, middle, with Jerry Brown, left, & John Kerry (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo doubled down on his plan to fight climate change and his opposition to the  Climate and Community Protection Act on Friday amid increased pressure to pass the legislation.

    The bill ­– which intends to move the state’s economy to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, invest clean energy funds in

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  • Support Grows for Aggressive Climate Legislation Cuomo Calls Unrealistic

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    (photo: Governor's Office)


    As the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) gains increasing support from state and federal legislators, the state Assembly and Senate will soon decide whether or not to vote on the bill, which now has a majority of sponsors in both houses of the Legislature but not the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    The CCPA, described by many as New York’s attempt at a Green New Deal, has three major components. The bill would end reliance on fossil fuels by moving the state’s economy to 100% renewable energy by 2050,

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  • Pass the Off Fossil Fuels Act, New York’s Strongest Climate Change Bill

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    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Grassroots climate activists hope that before state lawmakers adjourn for the summer they will strike a deal with Governor Cuomo to adopt the strongest climate legislation possible.

    And let’s be clear: the strongest climate bill is the NYS OFF Act (A3565/S5526), not the more publicized Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA).

    The Off Fossil Fuels Act, for 100% renewable energy by 2030, grew out of the successful grassroots campaign to ban fracking in New York. It seeks to implement the study

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  • Care about Climate Change? Care About Scooters

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    (photo: Lime)


    Solving our biggest global crisis of a rapidly warming planet means considering everything through the lens of potential solutions, even something as small as the electric scooter.

    Micromobility is rightfully capturing the keen attention of urbanists around the world -- including the much-discussed e-scooter. And New York is poised to take advantage as well.

    Simultaneously, New York is considering various necessarily ambitious policies to combat climate change and legislation to authorize local governments to roll

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  • Governor Cuomo Has Just Weeks to Embrace a Real Green New Deal for New York

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: governor's office)


    As debate over the Green New Deal has seized the nation, the young people of Sunrise Movement have been challenging politicians to answer a simple question: What is your plan?

    In April, the New York City Council rose to that challenge with a series of bills that sets a high-water mark for urban climate action across the globe. Mayor de Blasio is expected to sign the Climate Mobilization Act soon.

    Governor Cuomo, meanwhile, has allowed the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), the

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  • Why is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries MIA on the Green New Deal?

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    Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (photo: Kevin Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    The Green New Deal resolution has garnered a lot of attention since it was introduced in February. The nonbinding resolution, sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), aims to reshape our energy system and economy by committing to a swift and just transition to 100% clean renewable energy.

    Such a bold transformation is exactly what is needed according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to avoid the

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: The City Council Takes on Climate Change

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    Council Member Constantinides (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    April 17, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City Council Takes on Climate Change

    costa const 150City Council Member Costa Constantinides joined the show to discuss a package of legislation he's shepherding through the City Council that aim to fight climate change, including by major requirements for reducing building carbon

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  • It’s Time to Get Big Money Out of the Climate Change Fight

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    (photo: John McCarten/NY City Council)


    The window for meaningful action on climate change is narrowing. Every year, as more climate impacts become “locked-in,” changes we have to make to save the planet become even harder to implement. Right now, fossil fuel industry campaign contributions to politicians are holding

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  • Invest in City Parks to Improve Our Public Spaces and Save the Environment

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    (photo: @RiversideParkNY)


    Parks are an essential part of any city’s infrastructure. Getting into nature at an urban park lowers stress, eases depression, and fosters happiness. Parks help build community - people get out and meet each other, kids play together, mothers talk, residents meet neighbors.

    Parks are particularly invaluable in New York City, the nation’s

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  • We Can’t Effectively Plan for Climate Change without Real Community Dialogue and Long-term Planning

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    (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As we march toward a new climate reality, are we leaving the public behind? The New York City Panel on Climate Change’s (NPCC) 2019 report, released on March 15, offers a sobering new lens known as the Rapid Ice Melt scenario: the metropolitan region could experience 9.5 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century. That’s six inches short of the height of a regulation basketball hoop.

    The real ‘March madness’ spilling into April and beyond is that we have barely any plan or resources to adapt our

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  • Seizing the Moment for Bold Climate, Green Job & Environmental Justice Legislation in New York

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    (photo: mayor's office on flickr)


    On Friday, March 15, over 1 million students from 125 countries walked out of school to demand that we act on climate change.  As New Yorkers, we’re already seeing the devastating impacts of climate change in our communities. We all remember the damage to homes, lives, and communities caused by Superstorm Sandy, and we know we’ll face more intense storms in the future. As summers get longer and hotter, more of our elderly neighbors will be at risk for heat stroke or even death.

    We also know that the impacts

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 2040, New York's Energy Sector & Plan to Go Green

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 63 -- 2040, Seth Hulkower [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    S Hulkower2040 is the year by which Governor Andrew Cuomo wants New York’s electric sector to go entirely green; that is -- to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in that sector of energy to zero. This is the key new goal announced by the Governor as part

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  • Mayor De Blasio Needs a Clearer Focus on Climate Change, with a More Aggressive Agenda

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor de Blasio plans to travel nationally to discuss the ideas in his recent State of the City speech, but if he does, he won't be talking about climate change, because his speech didn't deal with it. He mentioned divesting $5 billion from fossil fuel stocks, but he never uttered the words "climate

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  • A 'Green New Deal' for New York and More: Where the Climate Change Conversation is Headed in 2019

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    (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    After an election where the issue ...

  • Climate Change, and What To Do About It, Largely Missing from Governor’s Race

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    Gov. Cuomo and former VP Gore in 2015 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New York’s 2018 gubernatorial election has largely been eclipsed, like so many things in United States politics, by a massive Trump-shaped shadow. Within that shadow, Andrew Cuomo and Marc Molinaro have argued about the health of upstate New York, management of the MTA, and dueling corruption charges, among other topics. But one looming issue, climate change, has seemed

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  • Terrified About Climate Change? Vote Cynthia Nixon

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    Cynthia Nixon (photo: @CynthiaNixon)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo seeks to portray himself as a leading environmentalist. But in reality, he is too wrapped up in his own political ambitions to be the 21st century climate champion New York needs.

    The surface is rosy. Governor Cuomo formed the impressive sounding U.S. Climate Alliance, he banned fracking (while building infrastructure to transport fracked gas from nearby states) and is expanding wind farming in the state.

    Take a closer look, however, and it’s much seedier.

    While portraying

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  • City, MTA Must Look Under the Hood for Greater Climate Progress

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    An MTA bus (photo: MTA Bus)


    The new congestion pricing surcharges on taxis and on-demand ride services below 96 Street in Manhattan are designed to address congestion in midtown, but they generate more controversy than impact. They might raise a few hundred million dollars a year for the MTA to fix the subway. But they won’t do anything to reduce congestion or air pollution. Meanwhile another big ticket MTA budget item has gotten little attention but will have a huge impact on New York City's emissions, air quality, and public health: bus procurement.

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  • Policy Implications of the Mayor’s Paris Climate Order

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    Mayor de Blasio tours the Electrical Industry Training Center in Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


     Soon after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark accord to limit global temperature increases signed by nearly every country, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would sign an executive order committing New York City to the agreement. On June 2, after Trump confirmed the rumors in a White House Rose Garden speech, the Mayor ...

  • Republican Mayoral Candidates Noncommittal on De Blasio Paris Climate Order

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Friday affirming New York City’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, from which President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he would withdraw the United States. New York City, the president’s hometown, has terrain that makes the city especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which the Paris agreement seeks to mitigate by limiting global temperature increases. The agreement was signed by 195 countries in December 2015.

    De Blasio

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  • New York’s Next Climate and Community Protections

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    A major shift in the climate debate is taking place across New York and a new front in the discussion is emerging. No longer faraway images of drowning polar bears and epic glacial melt, climate change has moved into our own backyards, devastating our local neighborhoods. And no one knows this better than New York’s working families.

    Extreme weather destroys upstate farmers’ crops and keeps hourly employees from getting to work. Air pollution exacerbates chronic health conditions, triggering asthma attacks and other health problems, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, October 5-9

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 9

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio pitches his rezoning plans in East New York, via Chang W. Lee for the New York Times; charter school supporters rally in Brooklyn, ...

  • In Pope Francis, De Blasio Finds Ultimate Validator

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    Cardinal Dolan & Mayor de Blasio (photo via @BilldeBlasio)


    Pope Francis is the "leading moral voice on this earth," according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is welcoming the pope to New York City with open arms.

    At a press conference Wednesday, the day before the pope is due to arrive in New York, de Blasio again spoke highly of Francis and pointed to the pope's moral authority and inspiration when announcing a partnership with the Archdiocese of New York to provide additional beds to homeless New Yorkers.

    "Pope Francis is

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