NYLCV Honors Earth Month With Advocacy and Education

| April 24, 2023

By Sunday afternoon the rain clouds had parted and the sun was beaming on the corner of Wyckoff & Jefferson in Brooklyn, and the hundreds of people gathered for the House of Yes’s Earth Love Festival. There, and three miles away on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at the NYC Earth Day Grand Bazaar, among music acts, shopping, games, and scores of vendors, Team NYLCV set up shop to engage visitors about the League’s mission and the importance of clean energy and sustainability in addressing the climate crisis.

On Saturday–Earth Day–the League was educating for the environment along the banks of the Hudson River at Green Ossining’s 13th annual Ossining Earth Day Festival. 

It was the conclusion of a week-plus of advocacy and education work for the League that began on Friday, April 14, when NYLCVEF & Siemens hosted a panel discussion at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk, NY, about the hardware, software and infrastructure upgrades needed to make the transition to a zero-emission vehicle fleet a reality in New York. 

Then, to kick off Earth Week proper, League staff set up shop in Union Square in Manhattan for Earth Day Initiative’s annual Earth Day Festival. It was a great afternoon featuring dozens of environmental groups & climate campaigns, interactive workshops & speeches, & a loud call to elected officials to prioritize environmental justice.

It was also a big week on the policy side. On Tuesday, NYLCV President Julie Tighe joined New York’s environmental leaders to announce the completion of eight large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects, a powerful reminder this Earth Week of New York’s commitment to a clean energy future.

Later in the week, Mayor Adams released PlaNYC, New York City’s strategic climate plan. PlaNYC identifies high-priority areas that require immediate attention, including improving air and water quality, creating a circular economy, expanding green spaces, and enhancing resilience to extreme weather events, a critical effort that will be greatly enhanced by a newly established flood and climate resilience bureau. We were very pleased that the plan also identifies reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution as a priority–a new rooftop solar initiative and new low- and no emission zones will go a long way toward achieving this goal. 

Much of our advocacy work coalesced around the ongoing state budget negotiations. NYLCV is pushing hard for our priorities to be included, including cap and invest and a slate of measures to decarbonize the buildings sector. 

As budget negotiations continued to drag on, NYLCV Policy Director Pat McClellan provided an update on our priorities stand and asked supporters to support our ongoing efforts by making an Earth Day donation to NYLCV. 

On Friday, McClellan joined Congressmen Jerry Nadler and Dan Goldman and partners at the choke point of the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel to call for the implementation of congestion pricing. It’s been over a decade since congestion pricing was proposed in NYC & as the area population & commerce have grown, so too has traffic & gridlock–which causes higher GHG emissions & worse air pollution. NYLCV is emphasizing the urgency of the issue and that it’s time to turn plans into action and move forward with congestion pricing now.

Earth Month is not over yet, however, and on Tuesday NYLCV will join partners in Albany for Earth Day Advocacy Day. Advocates from across the state will meet with legislators at the Capitol and Legislative Office Building to call for the advancement of a package of environmental legislation which addresses energy efficiency, climate & environmental justice, clean water, lead poisoning prevention, waste reduction and toxins in products.

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