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Letter: Cuomo has to do more to tackle climate crisis

Cuomo has to do more to tackle climate crisis

As our president tweets that the East Coast could use some “good old global warming,” I watched the State of the State address hoping that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would take the stage with a bold climate agenda.

Well, he fell short of that. Cuomo’s announcements that New York will move toward divesting from fossil fuels and build out offshore wind were exciting. However, two agenda items were conspicuously missing. First: A concrete timeline for transitioning New York to 100 percent renewable energy. Second: A fee on large corporations that dump their pollution in our air while making average New Yorkers pay for the damage to our health and state. This concept gained national attention when Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced his support for it in December. And a fall 2017 report from UMass said pricing pollution and reinvesting into renewables, transit and more would create 150,000 new jobs for New York per year.

To tackle the climate crisis, we need comprehensive policy directed at the root of the problem: an unfair system in which fossil fuel billionaires get richer while average people clean up after more and more frequent climate disasters.

Cuomo still has a chance to throw his weight behind a comprehensive climate action plan by putting the Climate and Community Protection Act and a corporate polluter fee in his executive budget in the next few weeks. Without pricing pollution, funding solutions alone will not be enough to get us to safety.

Clarke Gocker

Director of Policy and Strategy

PUSH Buffalo

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