Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

environmental justice

environmental justice

  • 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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  • 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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  • Make No Mistake, the Ongoing Congestion Pricing Delay is Environmental Racism

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    Subway tunnels (photo: Governor's Office)


    How many of our city's children need to suffer while the MTA conducts a 16-month ‘environmental review’ to implement congestion pricing in New York City? 

    Throughout 2020 and into this year, our city and state elected officials proclaimed in the face of COVID-19 and racial justice protests that they were ready to tackle the problematic issues generations of New Yorkers experienced—among them, solving the structural inequities caused by environmental racism and the harm that it

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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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  • Climate Groups Call on 2021 Candidates to Back NYC Green New Deal Agenda

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    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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  • A Green Recovery Plan for New York City

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    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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  • For Climate and Community Protection, It’s Time to Electrify Transportation in New York

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    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 Gentrification and Environmental Racism in Flushing

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    One part of the Special Flushing Waterfront District site


    Flushing residents, local environmental organizations, and nonprofit groups have long despaired over Flushing Creek. The waterway has been a symbol of environmental racism and community disinvestment for many years; it frequently runs cloudy and sulphurous with industrial waste and sewage overflow.

    In 2016, local environmental organizations Guardians of Flushing Bay and the Riverkeeper released ...

  • For Next Steps in City's 'Green New Deal' and Covid Recovery, Coalition Offers Plan for 100,000 Climate Jobs

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    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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  • Wasted Opportunities: New York City’s Misplaced Budget Priorities Fail Marginalized Communities and Us All

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    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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  • One Essential, Concrete Step to Redress Environmental Racism in the South Bronx

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    Transforming the South Bronx (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Our country’s history has been fraught with issues that have disadvantaged communities of color, including unequal housing, education, health, food access, economic opportunity, and the chronic stresses of living with racial bias. Intertwined with these are a myriad of severe environmental justice issues.

    Communities of color suffer disproportionately from air pollution from nearby waste facilities, industrial plants, and high bus and truck traffic on their thoroughfares.“Diesel trucks and

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