Senator Kaminsky pushes for climate change with hearings across NYS

Greta Moran for Grist

February 16, 2019

Originally published in Momentum grows for New York’s landmark climate-equity bill on February 16, 2019.

Daniela Lapidous / New York Renews

Walter Cooper, a labor union leader, stood on the steps of New York City Hall to fight for new kind of contract.

“We need a contract for a future of our state and for our communities,” Cooper said in support of the Climate and Community Protection Act, a bill making its way through the state legislature.

Cooper’s labor union is part of New York Renews, a broad coalition of 160 labor, climate, and community groups that has been pushing for climate justice since 2015. The Climate and Community Protection Act would move New York to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The bill’s labor and justice measures have garnered it wide grassroots support. And increasingly, the attention of lawmakers.

On Thursday, as part of New York Senate’s first-ever hearing on climate change, testimonies were heard on behalf of the bill. The legislation would make its goals across energy, transportation, and buildings legally enforceable — a contract with the environment.

The hearing, chaired by Senator Todd Kaminsky, signaled the Democrats’ fresh resolve to address climate change.

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When asked by Senator Kaminsky if the bill is “practical and doable,” Garrett-Peltier said it is “absolutely a manageable level of investment.” Ultimately, she said, it comes down to “political will.”