Looking ahead with hope: what’s next for New York
New York’s 2021 legislative session came to a disappointing close in June. The legislature concluded without advancing the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) or other initiatives that New Yorkers desperately need. By charging polluters for their toxic emissions, the CCIA will generate $15 billion per year to invest in frontline communities, create good jobs, and advance our renewable economy. Passage of the CCIA will be transformative for New York’s overburdened communities. For now though, despite overwhelming support from legislators, it wasn’t brought forward for a vote.
Despite our deep frustration with the outcome, there is still plenty to celebrate. I’m proud of the work that the Vote Solar team did to support the CCIA — from penning op-eds, to running digital ad campaigns that reached almost 10,000 key decision makers, to preparing and giving testimony before the joint Energy and Telecommunications and Environmental Conservation Committees of the New York State Senate.
In addition to our staff’s work, our members joined the NY Renews Coalition and mobilized in huge numbers, making it clear to the state legislature that New Yorkers are more than ready for our clean energy future. Nearly 200 Vote Solar members took the time to email or call their representatives to voice their support for the CCIA. Each of those individual actions helped push the conversation forward and bring bold energy justice initiatives into the mainstream.
As we look to 2022 and beyond, we’re staying focused on a just transition for New York, and will continue pushing for comprehensive, equitable climate legislation. We’re close – a majority of legislators in both houses are already CCIA cosponsors, and with Albany reopening to the public, Vote Solar is ready to help push the bill over the finish line in the coming session. I’m thankful to be doing this values-driven work with our coalition partners and members. I can’t wait to continue forward together.