CCPA Receives Wide Spread Community Support

ALBANY – The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus sent a letter in support of the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA, S2992/A3876) to legislative leadership, calling the CCPA a “bold racial justice bill.”

The letter discusses the ways in which climate change does not affect all people equally. As a result of historic and ongoing inequities in the distribution of resources, New York State’s communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately burdened by pollution and are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as heat and severe weather.

As such, the letter argues, it is critical that climate policy address the racial and economic disparities of the climate crisis, which the CCPA is designed to do in New York State. The CCPA would create an equity screen, ensuring that state energy policies do not further burden impacted communities, as well as directs 40% of all state energy funds to communities most impacted by the climate crisis.

In addition, the CCPA regulates co-pollutants, the by-products of burning fossil fuels responsible for elevated asthma rates in New York’s low-income communities and communities of color. The bill also sets strong wage and contracting standards for the transition-related jobs receiving state support, ensuring that green jobs are good jobs.

“The Climate and Community Protection Act is not just an environmental bill – it’s about climate, jobs, and justice,” said Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright, Caucus Chairperson. “We can move our state off of fossil fuels while investing in frontline communities and making sure that green jobs pay family sustaining wages. As the Chairperson of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, I’m proud to support the CCPA as a racial justice bill for our communities.”

“Long Island communities are uniquely vulnerable to the threat of climate change. We all remember Hurricane Sandy, and, importantly, we remember which communities had the capital to fund a quick recovery, and which did not. We must pass the Climate and Community Protection Act to protect all of our state’s communities from the climate crisis,” said Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, Caucus First Vice-Chair.

“In some Bronx neighborhoods, the childhood asthma rate is three times the national average,” said Senator Luis Sepulveda, Caucus Second Vice-Chair, “This is because polluting infrastructure has been unjustly sited in our communities. We must take bold action on climate, not just for the future, but for our communities today. I call on my colleagues to join me in supporting the Climate and Community Protection Act.”

“The Bronx is on the frontlines of the pollution and climate crisis. It is critical that we invest in solutions to reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions while letting the communities most impacted lead the way,” said Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, Caucus Secretary. “I’m proud to sponsor the Climate and Community Protection Act, and I hope my colleagues will join me in doing the same.”

“With the Climate and Community Protection Act, we can dramatically reduce our carbon emissions while investing in the communities hit hardest by the climate crisis. With less than six weeks left in the legislative session, I strongly urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the CCPA — for our planet and our communities,” said Senator Brian A. Benjamin, Caucus Treasurer.

“Economic, racial, and environmental justice are all interconnected, and to address any of these problems, we have to address them all,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, Caucus Parliamentarian. “I’m a sponsor of the Climate and Community Protection Act because the bill is rooted not just in environmentalism but in environmental justice. The poorest communities and communities of color experience environmental segregation starting with a stark difference in resources including clean air and water and access to healthy clean food that is priced out of reach. This must end.”

“In Brownsville, children are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma attacks than in the rest of Brooklyn, a direct result of pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. New York needs comprehensive climate legislation that centers racial and economic justice. That’s why I’m a sponsor of the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), which the New York legislature must pass, and the governor must sign, this year,” said Assemblymember Latrice Walker, Caucus Chaplain.

The full letter is available here:

The CCPA has passed the New York State Assembly in the past three legislative sessions by large margins, and is currently sponsored by a majority of State Senators. This year, both Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins have pointed to CCPA as the way forward for climate policy in NY.

About the Climate and Community Protection Act:
The Climate and Community Protection Act establishes aggressive mandates to ensure New York achieves a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the next 30 years. Under the CCPA, 40% of state energy and climate funds used to propel the transition must be invested in low-income communities and communities of color. In addition, the CCPA would attach fair labor standards, including prevailing wage standards, to green projects receiving state support.

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