New York Democrats are in disagreement over how to finance climate protection measures in the state’s final budget, as they seek to meet emission reduction goals set by the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act (Climate Act).
Governor Kathy Hochul has indicated that her administration will not modify the Climate Act or greenhouse gas emission timelines in the upcoming budget, but changes may still be possible later in the legislative session.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is advocating for the inclusion of the Climate Change Superfund Act in the budget, which would establish a $30 billion fund for environmental improvements paid for by polluting companies. Glick claims that implementing effective climate measures does not have to be expensive and that doing nothing has significant costs, including storm recovery expenses and rising insurance costs.
Environmental advocates criticize Governor Hochul’s support of new legislation backed by fossil-fuel companies that would align New York with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and calculate methane gas emissions over 100 years, rather than every 20 years as required by the Climate Act. Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, sponsor of the new legislation, argues that it does not change the goals set by the Climate Act but rather helps achieve them without burdening New Yorkers with high costs.
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