Support of New York State Senate Bill S2126, New York State Assembly Bill A1536
(Fossil Fuel Divestment Act)
Bill Summary: Relates to limitations on investments of public pension funds in fossil fuel companies.
Current Status: In Civil Service and Pension Committee
Future Steps: Get on the floor, pass Assembly/Senate, be signed by the Governor
Excerpt: "Divestment. Beginning one year after the effective date, subject to an affirmative determination of prudence, and in accordance with sound investment criteria and consistent with his or her fiduciary obligations, the Comptroller shall divest the Common Retirement Fund from direct investments in any company on the exclusion list, and cease new direct investments in any company that meets the definition of a coal, oil, or gas producer. Divestment from oil and gas producers shall take place within five years of the effective date, while divestment from coal producers shall take place within two years of the effective date. "
Effect: Minimize funding of destructive industries.
Support of Legislation similar to New York State Senate Bill S7645 of the 2017-2018 season
(Climate and Community Investment Act, CCIA)
Bill Summary: Would enact the climate and community investment act; would establish the climate justice working group; would establish the worker and community assurance program; would establish the community just transition program; would establish the climate jobs and infrastructure program; would impose a fee on carbon based fuel sold, used or brought into the state by an applicable entity; would establish trust funds; would establish a rebate program.
Last Status: In Environmental Conservation Committee
Sponsor: Kevin S. Parker, D/WF, 21st Senate District
Purpose: Would’ve enacted the climate and community investment act. This act sought to transition NY to 100% renewable energy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, protect workers currently in the fossil fuel industry and support the communities most impacted by climate change and pollution.
Just because this legislation has been passed doesn’t mean that New York can still fall short of its environmental goals. The Bill is nothing more than a plan, and legislation that actively enforces it may still be necessary.
Support of Sustainable Transportation Initiatives
-Public transportation, including buses, can be pivotal in reducing emissions from commutes and reducing traffic. If more people were to take buses, less vehicles on the roads would lead to less CO2 produced and far shorter travel times in general. However, buses have connotations as vehicles with longer commutes and unsafe environments. By making bus schedules more accessible and investing in existing transit apps, they can be used more frequently by the average citizen. Additionally, increased security on public transit can make them safer for younger and individual riders.
-Bike riding is also a sustainable travel method with a miniscule environmental impact. Thus, safe and visible bike lanes should be the norm in NYCR communities, allowing sustainable commutes for citizens. Reimbursement for bicycle commuting expenses should also be increased, and incentive to travel sustainably should be recognized through tax deductions.
-Sidewalk maintenance is handicap accessibility. By ensuring that sidewalks are easy to navigate for people with mobility aids, chronic illnesses, and other impairments, more people can use sidewalks as a means to commute and reduce car usage in the Capital Region. Thus, sidewalk maintenance can reduce the emissions caused by transportation.
A Green New Deal for New York State (NYS Senate Bill S2878B)
Proposed by James Sanders Jr., D, 10th Senate District
Summary: Establishes a green new deal for New York task force; requires such task force to develop a detailed statewide, industrial, economic mobilization plan for the transition of the New York economy to become greenhouse gas emissions neutral by 2030 and to significantly draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and to promote economic and environmental justice and equality.
Status: In Environmental Conservation Committee