In The News

By James Whelan & Kyle Bragg

Even as we continue to grapple with Covid-19, we cannot forget the ongoing environmental crisis caused by climate change that threatens the lives of people in our city—and on our planet.

Tackling carbon emissions created by our energy sources is not just crucial, it’s urgent. The air pollution caused by these emissions exacerbates the same kinds of respiratory issues associated with Covid-19 and, like the disease, they disproportionately harm low-income communities of color.

Every day that passes without making significant changes to how we get our power is another day we sacrifice the future health of our fellow New Yorkers. Thankfully, our state has recently taken important steps to plan for a future with cleaner air and greener energy. Our industry and labor strongly support these priorities—for our workers and all New Yorkers.

The state’s ambitious proposal would enable New York City, the largest consumer of power in the state, to get greater access to renewable sources of energy. It will help put us on a realistic path to meet our goals to get 70% of electricity from carbon-free sources in another decade, and go 100% carbon-free by 2040.

This would be an energy sea-change. Currently, less than one-third of our region’s electricity is generated by carbon-free sources, because at the moment we don’t have the ability to either produce renewable energy locally or the transmission and distribution get it into our buildings where it is consumed.

The state’s plan tackles these issues head-on by encouraging the production of offshore wind and Upstate renewables that will come into New York City. It also smartly addresses the financial challenges of meeting our climate goals at a time that public dollars are harder to find by making it much easier for the state government to leverage private investments in these projects. That change alone could free up significant resources to further speed renewable energy production.

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