Environmental Group Announces Its Green Policy Priorities for 2020

New York League of Conservation Voters
New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
(212) 361-6350, Ext. 206

For Immediate Release: January 3, 2020

Contact: press@nylcv.org

Environmental Group Announces Its Green Policy Priorities for 2020

Major Focus Includes Reducing Emissions from the Transportation Sector 

Albany, NY – The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and NYLCV Education Fund (NYLCVEF) today released their State Policy Agenda which describes their priorities for 2020. To achieve the ambitious goals established by 2019’s historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, a major focus of NYLCV/EF’s advocacy and programming efforts will be directed toward reducing emissions from the transportation sector – the State’s largest source of climate pollution –  and more rapidly advancing renewable energy projects.

As part of this focus, NYLCV will advocate for the State to establish a low carbon fuel standard to require providers of dirty, polluting fuels to subsidize low and zero-emission alternatives, including support for electric vehicles. The group will continue to advocate for New York to formally join the Transportation and Climate Initiative and commit to an equitable emission-reduction plan for the transportation sector that is aggressive enough to slash pollution at the scale needed to avert the climate crisis, as well as to implement a congestion pricing program that reduces emissions and improves air quality.  This work will be done as part of the national Clean Energy for All campaign.

As identified in its 2019 Breaking Down the Barriers to Renewable Energy Siting: Recommendations Report, the Agenda calls for implementing administrative and legislative changes to encourage embracing renewable energy by local governments and streamline the siting process. In addition, NYLCV calls for a focus on reducing emissions from buildings by tightening building energy codes and appliance efficiency standards, and reducing the use of dirty heating fuels. 

The full Agenda is available here. This agenda will drive the organization’s advocacy and programmatic work throughout the year as it pushes for budget appropriations and legislation.

NYLCV/EF President Julie Tighe said: “Last year was an incredible session for environmental progress, but there’s more to do in 2020. Reaching the State’s nation-leading climate goals means tackling transportation emissions and making it easier to site renewable energy, two top priorities for us this year. We look forward to working with the Governor, Senate, and Assembly to build on 2019’s successes and make the 2020 session another year for the environment. Thank you to our partners who worked to develop this agenda.”

Though NYLCV/EF will support dozens of specific policies this year, the issues below were identified as top priorities:

Transportation: Reducing transportation emissions is one of the most important, and most difficult, parts of achieving the CLCPA’s goals. New York should join the Transportation and Climate Initiative and push for it to be as strong as possible. New York should also establish a low carbon fuel standard that makes the dirtiest fuel providers subsidize low and zero-emission alternatives. We must also implement a congestion pricing program that maximizes emission reductions and improves air quality. 

 Energy: To achieve 100% clean energy by 2040, the State must increase the speed at which utility-scale renewable energy is approved through the Article 10 process and build out more transmission to bring renewable energy from where it is most plentiful to where it is most needed. Energy efficiency in building codes and appliance standards should also be tightened to reduce how much energy we need in the first place. 

Recycling: Waste is an often overlooked part of the climate crisis. The recycling system is facing numerous challenges that must be addressed to make New York’s waste management more sustainable. New York should explore a range of short-, medium-, and long-term options to fix the recycling market, including: passing more extended producer responsibility laws; supporting local recycling efforts, including with funding; expanding the Bottle Bill; standardizing a statewide list of recyclable materials; and requiring the sale and purchase of products with recycled content.


Lead in School Drinking Water: In 2016, New York became the first state to require lead in drinking water testing and remediation in all public schools. It is time to revisit the law and update it based on what we have learned since then, including reducing the action level below 15 parts per billion, extending the testing requirement to private schools and daycare centers, and changing the testing guidelines to reflect newer best practices. 

NYLCV/EF create the State Policy Agenda each year by working closely with New York’s leading environmental, public health, conservation, energy, environmental justice, and transportation organizations to identify the state’s most pressing priorities on fighting climate change, conserving land and water, and protecting public health.

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.