Greens Say Cuomo Must Enact a real Green New Deal
Needs to Finalize Climate Action Plan to Guide State Action
While green groups support the concept of the Green New Deal announced by Governor Cuomo on Monday, they said that Cuomo had a lot of work to do to deliver both on an emergency mobilization to prevent catastrophic climate change and a comprehensive package of economic rights, including a guaranteed living wage job and single payer health care. They also said that Cuomo must commit to immediately halt the build out of any new fossil fuel infrastructure.
“With a recent poll showing that 81% supporting a bold Green New Deal, it is not surprising that Cuomo is willing to adopt the slogan. But the polls showed that the public wants 100% renewable energy by 2030, not 2040 as the Governor proposes. And they want the jobs and other economic benefits that are a core part of the GND proposals by both the Green Party and Congressmember-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund. (GND by GELF)
Dunlea said that Cuomo needs to put billions of dollars into his upcoming state budget proposals to support a climate action agenda. A study by Stanford and Cornell professors showing how New York could move to 100% clean energy by 2030 estimated the cost at $460 billion, though most of the money is already being spent on the state’s energy system. The study found that 40% of the state’s energy would need to come from offshore wind, a much larger share than the state’s existing limited goal of 2400 MW by 2030.
One way to raise the funds for the transition to clean energy is through a robust carbon tax to make polluters pay for the tens of billions of dollars of damages caused annually in New York (A107 / S2846).
Dunlea also said that Cuomo needs to finally adopt a detailed climate action plan first required by an Executive Order issued by Governor Paterson in 2009 and since re-issued by Cuomo. A draft plan developed under Paterson is on the state DEC website. Dunlea also noted that two years ago in his State of the State address, Cuomo had agreed to undertake a study on how fast, based on science, the state could move to 100% clean energy for all sectors, not just electricity as Cuomo announced on Monday. The study is more than a year late.
“Cuomo and other recent NY Governors have repeatedly failed to meet the climate goals they announced. We need a comprehensive plan with detailed benchmarks and timelines. And even the supporters of his existing limited goal of 50% clean energy by 2030 estimates that he has only committed about 25% of the funding needed to accomplish it,” added Dunlea.
Dunlea helped draft the 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 / Off Fossil Fuels Act (A5105 / S5908) which includes a requirement that the state, counties and local governments (greater than 50,000 residents) adopt enforceable climate action plan, as well as measures related to environmental justice and a Just Transition.