Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Climate Change

Climate Change

  • 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

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    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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  • It’s Time To Make Polluters Pay To Protect Our Climate Future

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    Climate change has many impacts (photo: governor's office)


    Several weeks ago, when Hurricane Ida devastated New York, one thing became painfully clear: we are still not prepared for the climate crisis. At least 45 people were killed by the storm in the New York area, many of whom were low-income people

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  • Pregnant People Need a Green New Deal

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    A new mom (photo: Edwin J Torres/Mayor's Office)


    While the media has started to connect heat-related deaths to climate change over the past few years, one particularly vulnerable group is too rarely discussed in reporting and not reflected in policy: pregnant people and newborns. As the climate crisis gets worse, we need policies to prevent dangerous outcomes and to undo vast inequities in pregnancy. 

    After centuries of disenfranchisement, many pregnant people of color living in New York City sit at the intersection of systemic racism, health

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  • 'We Can Get More Out Of This Unique Space': Governors Island on the Way to Major Transformation

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    The view from Governors Island (photo: @Gov_Island)


    Governors Island will be open to the public year-round with daily ferry service starting November 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced on September 28. The 172-acre island in New York Harbor, which was previously only open to the public from May to October, is about to undergo major

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  • Governor Hochul’s Opportunity to Transform New York for Future Generations

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    Gov. Hochul (photo: governor's office)


    We all knew Governor Kathy Hochul would be unique. Simply by virtue of being our state’s first woman executive, she will stand out in history. She entered the office in unfortunate circumstances, not the typical path to New York’s Executive Chamber. But since taking the oath just over a month ago, we’ve seen a governor in action. 

    New York’s 57th governor began her term with a ceremonial swearing in where she wore white, the color of the suffragettes, and noted that “brevity is the hallmark of

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  • City Council Passes Bill Requiring 'Citywide Climate Adaptation Plan'

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    Coastal resiliency project underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Update: The City Council approved the Citywide Climate Adaptation Plan legislation on Thursday, October 7.

    After Hurricane Ida once again exposed New York City’s vulnerability to major climate events, the New York City Council is set to pass, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign, a bill that will mandate the creation of a new “citywide climate adaptation plan.”

    The Council will vote on Thursday to approve the legislation, ...

  • De Blasio Administration Looks Toward Final Climate Actions

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    The new Brooklyn Bright bike lane (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting the final touches on its efforts to combat climate change and create a more sustainable city, with significant short- and long-term challenges at play, major decisions to be made in the mayor’s final months in office, and questions about its policy choices.

    Ben Furnas, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, points to key accomplishments of the last several

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  • Everything is Connected: New York City’s Climate Crisis Demands a New Way of Thinking

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    Mayor de Blasio surveys damage from Ida (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When the long tail of Hurricane Ida brought record rainfall to our region earlier this month, public officials claimed they were blindsided by the damage that resulted. While it’s notoriously difficult to accurately predict rainfall, the devastating societal impacts of the storm were not a surprise to those who follow these issues closely.

    An inundated transit system, flooded homes in lower-income neighborhoods, residents trapped in basement apartments.

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  • Max Politics Podcast: New York City's Climate and Sustainability Efforts

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    New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    September 24, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: New York City's Climate and Sustainability Efforts

    Ben Furnas, the director of the mayor's office of climate and sustainability, joined the show to discuss the de Blasio administration's policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable, livable city.

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

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Hurricane Ida, Climate Change & Where We Go Next in New York

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    After Ida (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    September 3, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Hurricane Ida, Climate Change & Where We Go Next in New York

    Three experts joined the show to discuss Hurricane Ida's impact in New York City, climate change, resiliency, policy-making, and where we go next. Guests Maritza Silva-Farrell of ALIGN, Danny Harris of Transportation Alternatives, & Rob Freudenberg of Regional Plan Association shared their thoughts on what's been going wrong and right, and

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  • New York City Isn’t Really Taking Our Energy Future Seriously

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    Mayor de Blasio makes a climate announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    In 2019, New York City passed some of the most progressive climate legislation in the country. Local Law 97 requires 50,000 large buildings to slash their carbon output en route to cutting emissions 40% by 2030. Yet if the passage of the law suggested that the city would be putting people and the planet before the typical monied powers that be (real estate, the utilities, and others), ...

  • Creating Green, Healthy New York City Schools as They Fully Reopen

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    The mayor and schools chancellor at a school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The next Mayor of New York City will need to ensure that communities hit hardest by COVID-19 can not only recover, but achieve greater economic security and prosperity in the future.

    Recovery after covid and the creation of green, healthy schools for all go together.

    As part of the full re-opening of the public school system, city government should prioritize installing HVAC systems and solar energy in every school. Doing so will enhance air

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