New Yorkers concerned about the climate crisis are waiting right now: waiting for the New York State budget to be finalized, waiting for hearings to begin on the Climate Action Council’s draft scoping plan, and, as ever, waiting for people to wake up to the urgent need to get off fossil fuels. Yes, that includes you and me.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Carl Heastie should provide $1 billion in state funds annually for all-electric housing initiatives and incentives and back priority climate legislation to decarbonize our buildings.
The Climate Action Council was charged with devising policies to achieve the goals laid out in the 2019 climate law to achieve mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. New Yorkers will be able to weigh in soon on the CAC’s plan, and we need to push our elected leaders to be bold.
Finally, there is individual responsibility. Like the Germans, who are asking citizens to reduce energy use to decrease Germany’s reliance on gas from Russia, we need to conserve. Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater. Drive slower. Better yet, buy an electric vehicle instead of a gas car and look into heat pumps to replace your aging furnace or water heater.
Meanwhile, oil and gas companies are advertising heavily, advocating less regulation and more fossil fuels, as if there is no climate crisis. Don’t let them fool you. Speak out for the right climate policies now. We don’t have time to wait.