On December 16, 2015, leaders and members of labor, community, and environmental organizations across New York State will unite to launch a climate justice and jobs campaign – NY Renews – that aims to win progressive policy reform in the 2016 NYS legislative session and beyond.
The NY Renews platform contains three planks that each respond to the needs and interests of the campaign’s core constituencies.
It calls for mandatory and legally enforceable greenhouse gas emission reduction and renewable energy procurement goals that match a set of aspirational goals already adopted in the 2015 NYS Energy Plan and carried forward in the Reforming the Energy Vision regulatory initiative. These goals include 80% emission reductions by 2050 (from 1990 levels), with an interim goal of 40% by 2030; and a clear path to 100% renewable energy procurement, with an interim goal of 50% renewable energy procurement by 2030.
The platform calls for the creation of a reinvestment fund targeted to low-income communities, and environmental justice and climate vulnerable communities across the state, and mandates that 40% of existing public funds collected by NYSERDA be allocated to targeted communities for purposes of renewable energy and energy efficiency reinvestment and local job creation.
The third plank of the platform calls for mandatory job standards on publicly supported projects and direct financial support to workers and communities caught in the transition from dirty energy to renewable energy. Workers would receive re-training and retirement support and communities would receive revenue support to offset diminishing tax revenues from industries in transition.
The launch event in Buffalo, Party for the Climate!, will take place at the Tralf Music Hall from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on December 16. Its a free, all-ages event (under-21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). A cash bar and food will be provided. With support from Ujima Theatre Company, we’ve booked a couple of local musical powerhouses – the 16-piece Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra and DJ Milk – to keep the energy high and bring people together. This event will reveal – through the voices of local labor, community, and environmental leaders – our unity of purpose and showcase our collective power.
The NY Renews campaign will kick into high gear in early 2016 so your organizational support for the campaign and participation in the event are critical. Join us!