NYLCV Releases New York City 2022 Policy Agenda
Major Focus Includes Reducing Emissions from the Transportation Sector
New York, NY – The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and NYLCV Education Fund (NYLCVEF) today released their 2022 NYC Policy Agenda.
A major focus of NYLCV/EF’s efforts will be directed toward combating climate change by reducing emissions from the transportation sector; centering equity as we fight climate change; investing in parks, natural areas, and green spaces; and striving toward zero waste. NYLCV will continue to advocate for New York to transition to a citywide organic waste collection program, electrify its fleet, expand the Open Streets program, and improve micro-mobility options.
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, as well as determine what bills are included in the 2022 Council Environmental Scorecard.
NYLCV/EF president Julie Tighe said, “New York City has an opportunity with a new administration and Council this New Year to meet the moment and take urgent climate action. There are ambitious goals ahead of us, from reducing emissions to transitioning to clean energy, to achieving zero waste; now is the time to work collaboratively with Mayor Eric Adams’ administration and our new City Council to actually get things done, and reinvigorate our economy with good, green jobs – not just set goals and produce reports.”
Though NYLCV/EF will support dozens of specific policies, the issues below were identified as top priorities:
CLEAN TRANSPORTATION FOR ALL
Transportation isn’t only the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in our state—it is also a major source of air pollution, causing respiratory and other public health issues. This is particularly the case near New York City’s many major highways which often run through low-income communities and communities of color. Moving New Yorkers out of single-occupancy vehicles via improved and efficient public transit and micro-mobility programs are all part of the solution for a greener transportation sector and reducing harmful emissions. This includes more busways, bus lanes, and bike lanes that are protected and enforced and wider use of low carbon fuels. It is equally important that the City take a comprehensive approach to reimagine street space, by implementing the NYC Streets Plan and 25×25, so that there is adequate infrastructure in place to meet the growth in sustainable transportation. As with any other major transition, the Administration must lead by reducing the size of the City’s fleet and more aggressively transitioning the remainder of the fleet to zero-emission vehicles.
INVESTING IN PARKS, NATURAL AREAS, AND GREEN SPACES
Parks and green spaces make up 14 percent of the city’s lands yet receive less than one percent of the city budget. And not every neighborhood has the green space they want and need. It’s time to recognize parks as the critical infrastructure they are, providing numerous environmental and public health benefits. Nature helps to mitigate climate change, fight extreme urban heat, absorb stormwater, and provide clean air and habitats for native wildlife. It is imperative that the City invest in the health and sustainability of parks and greenery. This will ensure that these valuable resources benefit New Yorkers for generations to come and continue to be an outlet as people crave access to the great outdoors and fresh air. Beyond our existing green spaces, New York City must invest in green infrastructure beyond our parks and forested areas to fight climate change and worsening climate hazards.
ACHIEVING ZERO WASTE
Reaching the City’s Zero Waste goal by 2030 will require work from all New Yorkers, cooperation of city officials and private industry, and buy-in from the public. Stimulating behavioral change is critical to meeting this goal, as is ensuring the City has programs in place that promote waste reduction, diversion, and sustainable waste management. With a new administration, we need to reevaluate our approach to organic recycling, look at potential opportunities for public-private partnerships, and dedicate the necessary resources to act on the commitment to zero waste.
CENTERING EQUITY AS WE FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
We cannot talk about any of these important environmental issues without discussing the importance of equity. Years of environmental racism against low income communities and communities of color have forced them to live with high levels of pollution and inadequate access to green spaces. Furthermore, as climate hazards worsen, these communities feel the impacts the most and lack the resources to adequately protect themselves. Environmental Justice communities deserve specific attention and prioritization when it comes to investing in greenspaces, resilient infrastructure, transportation,and emissions reduction. NYLCV will ensure that environmental justice is an important aspect of our climate policy priorities and our advocacy work.
The publication was drafted in consultation with the NYLCV New York City Chapter as well as energy, public health, transportation, open space, and environmental justice partners.
The New York League of Conservation Voters is the only 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.