On Wednesday, April 20, Hudson Valley residents and supporters of the Climate Can’t Wait coalition rallied in New Paltz to demand prompt passage of 12 critical legislative and advocacy proposals. The community residents greeted a delegation of activists who are biking from New York City to Albany for a Friday, April 22nd Earth Day protest to underline the urgency of the need for significant action on climate in 2022 by Governor Hochul, state agencies and the Legislature.
The rally comes on the heels of a “now or never” report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that lays out the urgent need to rapidly move off fossil fuels to avert climate catastrophe. Climate Can’t Wait groups, representing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, cite two years of relative climate inaction from state leaders, and the failure of state leaders to come to the table to agree on critical climate legislation, as well as the state’s timid implementation by of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), as clear indications that New York is moving aggressively enough to address the climate crisis.
“The climate crisis is responsible for many of the insufferable health impacts that everyday New Yorkers are forced to cope with”” said Eric Wood, Hudson Valley Regional Coordinator for NYPIRG. “The oil and gas industry must be held accountable for their irresponsible actions. It is time for our policymakers to stop catering to those who are destroying the planet, and to begin making policies that cater to the just transition to a clean, green energy economy that is necessary for the survival of the human race.”
“The state legislature and governor failed to fund climate solutions in their budget despite having a surplus. With the legislative session ending in less than two months, the clock is ticking. We need them to act now,” said Emily Skydel, Hudson Valley Organizer for Food & Water Watch.
“We need Governor Hochul and state agencies to ensure that industry complies with the landmark 2019 state climate law, and to pass additional critical legislation supported by Climate Can’t Wait by the end of the 2022 session,” said Bob Cohen, Policy and Research Director of Citizen Action of New York. “We’ll be joining the bikers and people concerned about climate from around the state in Albany on Earth Day to say that slow walking when we have a crisis that threatens our very survival is not acceptable.”
Since 2019, when the landmark CLCPA legislation was passed in New York, the climate emergency has only accelerated, with increased extreme heat, fires, storms and floods, including Hurricane Ida which took the lives of 42 New Yorkers last year. Climate Can’t Wait (www.climatecan’twait.org) is a new collaborative of state climate organizations calling for rapid action on climate by state leaders.