New York needs to commit to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.
New York needs to invest in energy conservation, energy reduction, wind, solar and geothermal (e.g., heat pumps) not oil, gas, coal, fossil fuel infrastructure, or nukes.
Legislation to require this has been introduced by Assemblymember Colton (A7497) and and Sen. Hoylman ( S5527). The goal of 100% clean energy by 2030 was included in the 2016 Assembly budget resolution but not in the final budget. NY must speed up its transition to renewable energy.
Green energy is also the path to full employment and lower energy rates. A study by Stanford (Jacobson) and Cornell professors show that it is technologically feasible for NY to transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 while creating 4.5 million jobs. Electric rates would be over 50% lower compared to continued reliance upon fossil fuels. The state should fund a study on the concrete steps and timelines needed to make this is reality.
The major “victory” in COP 21 in Paris was that the industrial polluting nations such as the US agreed with the rest of the world that the existing global warming cap target of 2 degree celsius would lead to catastrophic change. They agreed to set a lower target of 1.5 degrees celsius. Scientific studies show this means reducing greenhouse gases twice as fast (7 to 9% annually) compared to the old goal of “80 by 50”.
The biggest obstacles to going to 100% clean energy are political and economic power, not energy technology. Fossil fuel companies wish to maintain their profits and market share, as does Wall Street. Solving climate change requires energy democracy, changing the political and economic system that promotes unsustainable development and energy use. We need democratic control over the energy system, including public ownership. “We need bold action to avoid climate change’s worst impacts, and we need to act now,” said Prof. Steve Breyman. (see press release)
A Coordinating Committee has been established for the 100% Renewables Now NY: Mark Dunlea, GELF; Steve Breyman, RPI / GELF; Barbara Warren, Citizens Environmental Coalition; Ruth Foster; Betta Broad; Alice Slater (PCM NY); Gordian Raccke, Renewable Energy Long Island; Sue Hughes Smith, Rochester People’s Climate Change / Mother’s Out Front; Howie Hawkins, Green Party; Herb Orignel, Sustainable Westchester; Lyna Hinkel, 350NYC.
Legislation divesting the state pension funds from fossil fuels has also been introduced by Sen. Krueger (S5873) As. Ortiz (A8011-A) , as well as a bill for a state carbon tax starting at $35 a ton by As. Cahill (A8372) and Sen. Parker (S6037). The divestment bill was passed out of the Senate Civil Service and Pension Committee. (See video from Feb. 29 legislative forum on divestment)
GELF is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit dedicated to promoting the green values of nonviolence, ecology, democracy and justice.
Organized in 1998, the purposes of GELF include conducting research and education in furtherance of the green principles of ecology, grassroots democracy, non-violence, social and economic justice, decentralization, community economics, feminism, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus.