After the 2016 presidential election, I remember shaking with fear for everything at stake. Over the last two years, many of my worst fears have come true: the travel ban; migrant children in cages; the attacks on our friends in the trans community; an onslaught of environmental rollbacks; Trump backing the US out of the Paris Agreement; the total abandonment of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria… I could go on.
Instead of being immobilized by fear, New Yorkers, like much of our country, have fought to build towards a brighter world.
In January, after over five years of community campaigning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the City’s commitment to divest our $195 billion pensions from fossil fuels, coupled with a lawsuit against the five largest oil companies for their climate destruction.
In September, more than 3,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan in coordination with over 900 global events to Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice. Less than a week after the march, the City announced a $4 billion reinvestment commitment into renewable energy and climate solutions. And two weeks ago, former state Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced a lawsuit against ExxonMobil for decieving its shareholders on climate change.
We’ve fought hard for these victories — and we have our work cut out to keep them coming. This week’s midterm elections have been a small light at the end of the tunnel that the type of climate progress we’ve been fighting for here is now going national. Let’s come together and make New York a beacon for the world on real climate action.
All over the US, climate was a hot button issue in this year’s elections, spurred in part by last month’s UN report warning that we have just over a decade for meaningful action on climate. We are excited to work with the new class of legislators in New York to ensure the state’s leadership on climate change including Attorney General Tish James, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and new state Senator Andrea Steward Cousins to take our state from deep gridlock to swift political action on climate. We know our elected officials lead boldly when we hold them accountable.
There are no more excuses. In 2019, New York must take bold climate action that stops fossil fuel projects and accelerates the just transition to 100% renewables for all of us.
Call Gov. Andrew Cuomo now and tell him to do his part to make New York a beacon for progressive action on climate.
Together, we will take this fight to the next level. The message we need to send to Governor Andrew Cuomo is clear: it’s past time for empty rhetoric and standing up for corporate interest above all. It’s time for Cuomo to stand first and foremost for our health and safety. This means:
- Stopping all fossil fuel projects — like the William Pipeline — across the state;
- Committing to a just transition to 100% renewable energy;
- Making corporate polluters pay, keeping fossil fuel interests out of our politics; and
- Divesting the state pension fund from coal, oil and gas companies.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, we will escalate the fight for a New York that works for all of us. Join us and call newly re-elected Governor Cuomo today to demand he be a real climate leader and build a Fossil Free New York.