2016 New York State Policy Agenda

February 21, 2016

Every year, NYLCVEF and our sister organization, NYLCV, work with New York’s leading environmental, public health, conservation, energy, environmental justice, and transportation organizations to identify the state’s most pressing priorities on climate change, public health and natural resources. The result of that effort is the document that you have here. Our 2016 agenda charges the legislative and executive branches with five distinct but interconnected directives: ensure adequate funding for the environment, address the causes and effects of climate change, conserve the health of New Yorkers and their communities, protect natural resources and invest in better, smarter infrastructure.

Making sure New York is resilient to the effects of climate change and reduces its carbon footprint has been and will continue to be a top focus. With the ongoing Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, the implementation of Governor Cuomo’s bold climate proposals from this past fall, and ensuring New York is fully compliant with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, there will much to do in the coming months in this area.

The Paris Climate Agreement creates hope that we may prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but there are other imminent threats to the well-being of our lands and waters. We must halt and reverse human degradation to our natural areas, conserving them for future generations with adequate protections and funding. From repairing our aging water infrastructure to funding our parks, this will be a constant theme throughout the year.

Finally, for far too long, low-income communities and communities of color have borne the brunt of the worst environmental hazards – both in terms of pollution and the devastating effects of climate change. This has resulted in troubling rates of asthma and other related public health issues. Protecting our environment isn’t just about nature. It’s also about people. Every single community must have clean air to breathe, well-maintained parks for recreation, access to fresh foods from local farms and protection from toxic chemicals.

We recognize that these challenges will not be easy to solve. Our leaders will need to be thoughtful, work across the aisle, and make tough compromises. But we fully expect them to do whatever it takes to create a greener, healthier and more prosperous New York.

Click here to view our 2016 NYS Policy Agenda

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