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Climate Works for All
Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Climate Priorities
For questions, contact: shravanthi@nyc-eja.org & faiza@alignny.org

April 11, 2024

Dear Speaker Adams,

I am writing to express my support for the Climate Works For All coalition’s climate priorities for the FY25 budget.

Mayor Adams needs to make climate a bigger priority for his administration. Recent extreme weather events show us that the climate crisis represents, for many New Yorkers, the biggest threat to their public safety and the city’s overall safety. I am very concerned with proposed budget cuts to key agencies that require adequate staffing and funding to work towards a Just Transition for our city that is equitable and accessible to all New Yorkers — especially those residing in disadvantaged and other environmental justice communities.

To implement key climate legislation, invest in good green jobs, and address the interrelated crises of climate change, public health, and social inequality, the Climate Works for All coalition calls on the Administration to prioritize the following in the FY2025 budget:

-- Dedicate $600M to electrify and upgrade NYC Public Schools: School buildings are among the largest public greenhouse gas emitters in New York which causes students, workers, and surrounding communities, especially in low income and disadvantaged neighborhoods, to be exposed to toxic pollutants putting their health at risk. In 2022, Mayor Adams launched the Leading the Charge Initiative, but to date, has only allocated funding to electrify 33 out of 100 schools by 2030. This initiative does not go far enough to deal with the realities our communities are facing due to the climate crisis. As a result, Climate Works for All is calling for the addition of $600M to the FY2025 budget as an investment in New Yorkers’ health, to put us on a path to electrify and upgrade 500 school buildings by 2030 and a net zero emissions school district by 2040.

 

-- Local Law 97 (LL97) compliance and enforcement: The effective implementation of LL97 cannot move forward without public sector oversight and enforcement. The Office of Building Energy Emissions Performance (OBEEP) under DOB, which is responsible for “Overseeing implementation of building energy and emissions performance laws and policies for existing buildings, new construction and major renovations” among other tasks, must be fully staffed and adequately funded to ensure that all building owners are assisted. OBEEP’s responsibilities will only grow past 2024 as additional buildings will have to be supported with the various reporting requirements as we approach the law’s stricter 2030 emissions reduction mandates. DOB must ensure timely submissions, as well as evaluate building owners’ overall compliance (eg: review of decarbonization plans and other reports). With 21 positions currently funded at OBEEP, we estimate that at least 10 additional positions would help support the implementation of LL97. We estimate that 5 data analyst positions would need $850,000 to be added to DOB’s budget and 5 inspectors would be an additional $750,000. Therefore, we estimate that 10 additional positions would require a total of $1.6 million in DOB’s budget for OBEEP.

-- Fund 3-5 staff positions at Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to increase staff capacity dedicated to affordable housing LL97 compliance: To better support affordable housing buildings with LL97 compliance, 3 new positions at the Office of Policy and Strategy at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development would require an estimated additional $480,000 in HPD’s budget.

-- Redirect funding (~$5M) from NYC Accelerator to local NYC-based organizations to provide education, outreach, and technical assistance services on LL97 compliance for the first compliance period 2024-2029: There needs to be greater transparency regarding the NYC Accelerator’s mandates and progress. It is unclear where and how $33 million has been spent so far, on what specific aspect of outreach, and more importantly, how many buildings with emissions over the cap set for 2024 have been assisted through the NYC Accelerator. Local NYC organizations and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) should be supported to conduct outreach and education initiatives on LL97, as they are the best suited to do outreach more effectively in their respective communities. With input from local organizations working on the ground, CW4A estimated that there should be a minimum of $5 million allocated in the FY2025 budget for local NYC organizations to carry out education and outreach initiatives on LL97 compliance.

-- Advocate for state and federal funding for financing LL97-related building upgrades and retrofits. New York City needs to genuinely embark on a rapid and funded effort to achieve a just transition to a decarbonized and renewable energy economy.

Sincerely,

350Brooklyn
ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York
Association for Energy Affordability
Beyond Plastics Queens
Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) Citizens Climate Lobby, Brooklyn
Climate Families NYC
District Council 9 Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 37 AFSCME
El Puente
Fridays For Future NYC
Greenfaith
Ideatek Design
Indivisible Harlem
Jewish Climate Action Network NYC
Kinetic Communities
Long Island Progressive Coalition
Mothers Out Front
New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
NYC-DSA
Network for a Sustainable Tomorrow
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
New York Progressive Action Network (NYPAN Greene) New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)
NY Clinicians for Climate Action
NY Renews coalition (370+ member organizations) People's Climate Movement NY
Sunrise Movement NYC
The People's Plan & People's Budget Campaign
TREEage
Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB)
Urbecon LLC
WE ACT for Environmental Justice
We Stay/Nos Quedemos

Wyckoff Hospital Pediatrics Department

Climate Works for All
Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Climate Priorities

 

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