Major Focus Includes Buildings, Zero Waste, Clean Transportation, Offshore Wind, and Environmental Bond Act Implementation
Albany, NY – The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and NYLCV Education Fund (NYLCVEF) released their 2023 State Policy Agenda today. Among the League’s top priorities are:
- Decarbonizing public buildings
- Requiring new construction of new buildings to be zero emissions
- Implementing a clean fuel standard for transportation
- New funding for the MTA
- Implementing congestion pricing
- Increasing offshore wind commitments to 20 gigawatts by 2050
- Setting a goal of achieving zero waste by 2040
- Enacting a packaging waste reduction and recycling law
“Fighting climate change and undoing generations of damage to the environment will be difficult work, and it will take legislative action and substantial investments in each of the coming years.” said NYLCV/EF President Julie Tighe. “From transportation to buildings to zero waste, what we propose here will not all be easy, but we believe these measures are attainable, and we will fight tooth and nail to get there. We look forward to working with the Governor, the State Senate, and the State Assembly to enact these policies.”
The 2023 State Policy Agenda is at once a summary of NYLCV’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session and a roadmap for elected officials to follow in order to achieve bold environmental action. In addition to the priorities listed above, NYLCV also seeks to ensure the timely investment of the $4.2 billion Bond Act; increased funding and staff for the state’s environmental, public health, energy, and transportation agencies; a path to a $500 million Environmental Protection Fund; and maximizing matching federal dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
This agenda arrives following a strong year for environmental policy at the state level. In 2022, New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, and lawmakers made progress in the climate fight during the 2022 legislative session and through the executive budget. In addition to increased funding for the Bond Act, there were historic investments in the state’s offshore wind supply chain, a boost to the Environmental Protection Fund to $400 million, expansion of the Brownfield CleanUp Program, and stronger protections for our wetlands. Add to that a nation leading commitment to transition to zero-emission school buses, progressive energy codes, a thermal energy network pilot program, and a mandate to protect 30% of the state’s land and water by 2030.
The 2023 State Agenda, which was created with input from the NYLCV/EF Policy Committee, will drive the organizations’ advocacy and programmatic work throughout the year as NYLCV pushes for budget appropriations and legislation.
Throughout the process, 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 full agenda is available here, and further details on some of the League’s top priorities are below:
Buildings are the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and co-pollutants in New York State, meaning building decarbonization must play a critical role for the state to meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. NYLCV will advocate for legislation that requires regulation of new and existing fossil fuel infrastructure for energy and heating needs, push to tighten building energy codes, adopt building decarbonization mandates, decarbonize state-owned buildings, and a host of additional policies.
Waste is an often overlooked part of the climate crisis, accounting for about 6% of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2023, NYLCV will advocate for a statewide goal of reducing waste sent to landfills by 90% by 2040. To help achieve this, the League proposes that the state develop 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, expanding the Bottle Bill, standardizing a statewide list of recyclable materials, and establishing minimum recycling content requirements.
Transportation is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, damaging our public health and concentrating pollution in low-income communities and communities of color. Decarbonizing public and private transportation must be a top priority. This includes the electrification of school bus and public transit fleets, lifting the cap on manufacturer-owned zero-emission car sales, increased funding for the MTA, and the implementation of congestion pricing. NYLCV will advocate for a clean fuel standard that forces fossil fuel providers to subsidize low- and zero-emission alternatives and uses 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. New York’s continued progress toward achieving 70% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2040 is dependent upon the timely procurement, responsible siting, government permitting and, finally, the transmission of 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, while increasing our offshore wind goal to 20 gigawatts by 2050.
About the New York League of Conservation Voters
The New York League of Conservation Voters is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fight for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. For thirty years, NYLCV has worked to lobby state and local governments on environmental policy, provide objective information to the public, and hold elected officials accountable. For more information, visit www.nylcv.org.
About the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF) educates, engages and empowers New Yorkers to be effective advocates on behalf of the environment — from clean energy and funding for parks, to solid waste and green buildings. NYLCVEF educates New Yorkers about environmental issues and the environmental decision-making processes at the local, regional, state and federal government levels; engages all sectors – elected officials, policymakers, businesses, community groups and grassroots citizens – in open, non-partisan discussion about sustainability policies in order to achieve the environmental breakthroughs that New York needs; and empowers New Yorkers to make environmental change by engaging them in the civic process.