Our economic policies must match our environmental goals. Renewable energy is increasing as a share of total energy generation and yet the State still has numerous fiscal policies that encourage fossil fuel consumption.
Today we released a report with the Citizens Budget Commission identifying existing fiscal policies at odds with the goals of the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The report pinpoints opportunities to modify existing and outdated policies that hinder New York’s progress on climate action.
The State could modify tax expenditures, direct state spending, and local aid including:
- Reconsidering tax policies that encourage fossil fuel consumption, including the sales tax cap on gas
- Replacing aging fossil fuel-based heating systems in public buildings with renewable energy options
- Supporting electric vehicles and charging infrastructure
- Refocusing local aid to encourage renewable energy heating and cooling, and to incentivize school districts to purchase zero-emission school buses and charging infrastructure.
State funding policies determine how quickly our state agencies, localities and the private sector adapt their practices to meet the CLCPA goals and address climate change. As the wildfires burning in California so sadly demonstrate, we have no time to waste when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and acting on climate.