Statement from Speaker Carl Heastie

Addressing climate change continues to be a top priority for the Assembly Majority. The adoption of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019 was an important first step in establishing climate and equity requirements, but we know our work didn’t end there. We continue to monitor the CLCPA implementation with a focus on ensuring a just transition. That monitoring most recently included a hearing with the Environmental Conservation and Energy Committees and the Assembly Climate Change Work Group, during which testimony from more than 50 witnesses was received.

As the state Climate Action Council continues its important work, we are striving to balance respect and consideration of the CLCPA process with the urgency needed to address climate issues. During our session, the Assembly continued to prioritize protections for New Yorkers in low income communities and communities of color, which are most vulnerable to climate change, by requiring that at least 35 percent of the proposed $3 billion Environmental Bond Act funding be set aside to benefit environmental justice communities. The Assembly also took action to address emissions from the transportation sector and adopted legislation to establish the goal of having 100 percent of new passenger car sales be zero emission by 2035.

We recognize the need to ensure that dedicated financial resources are available to address the challenges posed by climate change, including investments in true climate solutions, protections for vulnerable communities, and job opportunities with family sustaining wages. The challenges posed by climate change will fundamentally impact us for generations to come, but we remain committed to working with stakeholders, including community and environmental justice groups as well as environmental advocates, to address the challenges that we all will face.