Statement Regarding Speaker Corey Johnson’s #BigGreenApple Proposal

We applaud Speaker Johnson for announcing bold climate action in his climate change report. To combat climate change, New York City must move toward a circular economy, and address the City’s waste issue and growing landfills. We applaud the focus on creating a zero-waste future, including reducing food waste by expanding curbside organics collection citywide and making it mandatory. Given 34% of residential waste is suitable for organics collection, we have a significant opportunity to reduce our contribution to landfills.

New York must address the fact that historically disadvantaged communities are struggling with the health impacts of climate change. In the Bronx, people living near noxious land use were 66% more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. We applaud the City for its detailed focus on environmental justice and we look forward to helping reduce air pollution, specifically for low-income and minority communities.

We also must reduce transportation emissions, and we look forward to working with the City to make bike and car-sharing easier. We are especially thrilled to see the Speaker’s support for a 100% zero-emission school bus fleet by 2040 and for a state low carbon fuel standard, both of which are top priorities for NYLCV.

Given the significant greenhouse gas emissions from residential and commercial buildings in New York City, we agree that green building must be a priority, especially for affordable housing. The Speaker’s support for district-scale clean energy solutions shows an understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities for New York City’s buildings to go green. We applaud the city’s focus on increasing green infrastructure throughout the city, specifically to reduce flooding for our most vulnerable communities. Prioritizing heat island issues, which severely impact New Yorkers’ health, especially the elderly and people with respiratory issues, is also critical.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move towards a clean energy grid, New York must actively work to build transmission capacity to deliver clean energy across the state. Currently, only 7% of New York City’s energy comes from renewable sources; we have a lot of work to do to reach our state’s climate goals. We applaud the detailed strategies to deliver clean energy to New York City, increase storage capacity of renewable energy and to develop new renewable energy projects, specifically on Rikers Island.