New York League of Conservation Voters Announces 2022 State Policy Priorities
Major Focus Includes Reducing Emissions from the Energy and Transportation Sectors; Zero Waste; and the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act
Albany, NY – The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and NYLCV Education Fund (NYLCVEF) released their 2022 State Policy Agenda today.
Last year, the State made progress in the climate fight, committing to 100% zero-emission passenger vehicle sales by 2035 and adopting the Advanced Clean Truck rule, and this fall, Governor Hochul made the bold announcement to raise the Environmental Bond Act to $4 billion. During the November election, a bi-partisan majority of voters across the state approved a new Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to clean air and water to each and every New Yorker, showcasing that a clean and healthful environment is more important to voters than ever. But much remains to be done.
In 2022, NYLCV plans to push for bigger, bolder proposals to ensure New York continues to lead the nation on climate and environmental action. NYLCV will continue to advocate for actions to decarbonize our economy by pushing New York to establish a clean fuel standard, electrify school buses, implement extended producer responsibility legislation, and tighten building and appliance energy efficiency codes. NYLCV will also push for increasing the Environmental Bond Act to $4 billion and the Environmental Protection Fund to $500 million, and to add staff at critical State agencies. Including DEC, NYSERDA, and ORES.
The full agenda is available here. This agenda will drive the organizations’ advocacy and programmatic work throughout the year as NYLCV pushes for budget appropriations and legislation.
NYLCV/EF President Julie Tighe said, “Fighting the climate crisis, moving to a green economy, and protecting the environment must be a priority for State government, as it is for New Yorkers, and we’re highlighting critical policies that will advance progress in 2022. New York must set the standard when it comes to tackling the climate crisis and protecting our air, water, and open spaces. Our policy agenda sets the stage for our advocacy this year: this is the work that we need to achieve to put us on the path to a green carbon-neutral economy. We look forward to working with the Governor, State Senate, and State Assembly in 2022 to deliver results for the environment.”
Though NYLCV/EF will support dozens of specific policies, the issues below were identified as top priorities:
Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, damaging public health and concentrating pollution in low-income communities and communities of color. Aggressive action is required to protect public health, promote environmental justice, and achieve the State’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050. Ensuring new public and private transportation is zero-emission while decarbonizing fuels for existing and hard-to-electrify vehicles must be New York’s top priority. This includes the electrification of school bus and public transit fleets as well as lifting the cap on manufacturer-owned zero-emission car sales. To make this transition more affordable, New York should establish a clean fuel standard that makes the dirtiest fuel providers subsidize low- and zero- emission alternatives, including electric trucks, buses, and fleets, using credits to prioritize electrification investments in environmental justice communities.
Our ability to mitigate climate change is largely dependent on ambitious action to decarbonize New York’s energy grid within the next decade and slash pollution from dirty fossil fuel power plants often located in disadvantaged communities. New York’s continued progress toward achieving 70% renewable electricity by 2030 is predicated upon implementing the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefits Act, including implementing the regulations of the new Office of Renewable Energy Siting, supporting new transmission as needed, and advancing clean energy procured by NYSERDA in a timely manner, including the newly-announced 10 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2030. Additionally, building energy codes and appliance standards should be tightened to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy usage.
Waste is an often overlooked part of the climate crisis, accounting for about 12% of New York State’s greenhouse gas emissions. The recycling system faces numerous challenges that must be addressed to make New York’s waste management more sustainable. New York must take a range of short-, medium-, and long-term steps to fix the recycling market, including: passing more extended producer responsibility laws; supporting local recycling efforts, including through additional funding; and standardizing a statewide list of recyclable materials.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL BOND ACT AND RESILIENCE
As New York faces the realities of a changing climate including more extreme weather, severe flooding, and rising temperatures, adapting our communities and upgrading our infrastructure to become more resilient to climate impacts is increasingly critical. Legislators and the Governor must move forward with a $4 billion Environmental Bond Act, which will provide essential investments in environmental protection, clean water, climate action, and resilience projects while supporting thousands of good-paying jobs and investing in disadvantaged communities. New York should also prioritize the protection of its natural resources, including implementing 30×30 to preserve 30% of its lands and waters by 2030 and legislation to dramatically expand protections for its essential wetland ecosystems.
The agenda was created with input from the NYLCV/EF Policy Committee. NYLCV/EF worked closely with New York’s leading environmental, public health, conservation, energy, environmental justice, and transportation organizations to identify the state’s most pressing priorities.
The New York League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fighting for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. For more information, visit www.nylcv.org. The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund engages and educates New Yorkers on environmental issues and the environmental decision-making processes at the local, regional, state and federal levels. NYLCVEF fosters open, nonpartisan discussion on environmental policy and empowers New Yorkers to be effective advocates on behalf of the environment. Visit www.nylcvef.org for more information.