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03/8/2016 | Organizing for Environmental Justice

Taking on Climate Change in New York

On December 16, Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) allies and partners launched NY Renews, an unprecedented statewide effort to fight for climate policies grounded in equity and justice for working people and their communities. With a kickoff event in New York City gathering over 700 people and a coordinated event in Buffalo attracting hundreds more, the launch received wide press coverage and represented a major step in efforts to push the state into a national leadership role on climate and equity. 

The coalition is led by Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), the Center for Working Families, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, CPD partners Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change (NYCC), and dozens of other allies throughout the state.

Together the coalition is advocating for an ambitious climate-justice agenda, which includes: establishing binding state commitments on pollution reduction, clean energy, and energy efficiency; creating clean-energy jobs; focusing existing resources towards vulnerable, impacted, historically disadvantaged, and frontline communities; and ensuring government accountability and action. 

NY Renews is rooted in a powerful cross-section of allies, tapping the collective wisdom of the environmental justice and sustainability movements, faith leaders, labor organizers, and other civic organizations. One such leader is NYCC member Rachel Rivera, a Superstorm Sandy survivor. “I lost everything during Sandy and I cannot afford to lose it again, nor can thousands of working families who are just starting to recover,” she said at the launch. “If we do not want another Sandy, New York needs to commit to reducing emissions and set a path to clean energy.”

With an aim to win a statewide, legally enforceable mandate for 100 percent clean energy grounded in equitable policy, the NY Renews campaign presents a major opportunity to work toward collaborative solutions crucial to addressing the climate crisis, while simultaneously building a more just and equitable society.