In response to the announcement that President Donald Trump will withdraw the United States from the historic Paris Climate Accord, the NY Energy Democracy Alliance affirms our commitment to advance a just and participatory transition to a resilient, localized, and democratically controlled clean energy system through local- and state-level action.Given President Trump’s action, now is the time for organized communities, and municipal and state governments – including New York’s as led by Governor Cuomo – to take bold steps to build new energy systems that serve and protect the people and planet, and foster environmental justice and energy democracy.
The EDA commits to address climate and inequality in New York State as part of a national effort to keep our commitment to the Paris Agreement. The US is historically responsible for much of the planet’s carbon emissions, pollution, and growing inequality. We recognize the Paris Agreement was only a starting point, and that it is our responsibility to fight to protect global communities that bear the brunt of climate change. To do this, we must change the our local policies to ensure they protect our environment and position us as stewards of a more resilient planet.
Governor Cuomo has set ambitious goals for moving New York State to adopt renewable energy, and in the wake of Trump’s decision he announced the US Climate Alliance and Clean Careers initiatives. At the same time he is overseeing a reform process in New York State that protects utilities and energy companies at the expense of the interests of the people and environment. Communities impacted by climate change must play an active role in the decisions and processes of state agencies like New York State’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to ensure they make informed choices and generate relevant, innovative solutions that serve all New Yorkers. We call on Governor Cuomo to heed community calls for local ownership of renewable energy, and the development of a participatory and equitable renewable energy economy.
The NY Energy Democracy Alliance will continue to fight for a renewable, equitable, accountable, and local (REAL) energy system that lifts marginalized communities here in New York, and communities that most suffer the effects of pollution across the globe. As our governor recommits to ambitious climate goals on an international stage, we will continue to monitor his efforts and push him to ensure effective implementation. Poor and working class communities, communities of color, and others hit hard by climate change must be able to participate in and benefit from the transition to a greener, more sustainable future. We invite others to join our work as we pursue an energy democracy platform in New York that includes:
- A rapid and equitable transition to a 100% clean, renewable, fossil-free, nuclear-free energy in order to address climate change, build resilient communities and create economic opportunities.
- An energy future built on energy efficiency, conservation, climate resilience, and public or local community-owned renewable energy assets.
- The democratization of our powerful state energy regulatory bodies, starting with the immediate appointment of People’s Commissioners to fill vacant seats on the Public Service Commission.
- The equitable distribution of state clean energy funds so that all New Yorkers can participate in and benefit from the clean energy economy, starting with immediate funding for community-owned shared solar projects in low-income communities and communities of color.