CHRISTOPHER KRIETCHMAN RESPONSES
1) What are your top environmental and climate-related priorities?
We need to get down to a net zero carbon emission. We need to be part of the green new deal. We need to import the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act from Whales into NYC. Let’s start using more renewable energy, let’s promote biodiversity by introducing more green spaces into our city. We need to encourage sustainability as a lifestyle.
2) How would you prioritize the creation of climate jobs in New York City and investment in communities of color, if at all?
How I will prioritise this, taking my platform into consideration (which at its core is basic human rights, public health & wellness, community & culture, encased in ethics) is; I will listen to the community of climate and sustainability activists, as well as, the BIPOC communities, to identify the problems. From this, we will create the jobs necessary to address these problems and fill in these gaps. We will then use innovation and entrepreneurial approaches to reeducate and retrain New Yorkers to fuel climate and social change.
3) How would you advance the City’s goal of implementing 100% clean, affordable energy and maximizing greenhouse gas and co-pollutant reductions, if at all?
This is where we address infrastructure and government & policy problems within my platform. We need to use the Green New Deal, and the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act, as a template for creating modern and sustainable regulations, in order to create 100% clean affordable energy. In order to maximise our reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and co-pollutants, we need to partner our parks and recreation departments with our zoning and building departments, to create more green spaces within our city, creating more parks emitting oxygen, and less skyscrapers emitting carbon.
4) How would you support the affordable and low-income housing sector in improving energy efficiency, enhancing residents’ comfort and living conditions, and meeting the City’s emissions reductions goals, if at all?
Firstly, we need to point out the problem at its core, which is city government and agency inefficiencies, based in bureaucratic red tape and special interest groups: specifically private business. We need to create stronger development regulations and policies, which are grounded in sustainable efficiency. These policies will hold developers accountable. Violators of these policies will not only be impacted with financial penalties, but also their ability to develop within the city. Take a look at the St. Patrick's cathedral, heated completely by geothermal energy - why can’t that become the norm? That is what our regulations need to address, the cheaper, more sustainable solutions, which enhance comfort and living conditions, and reduce our emissions.
5) How would you support the expansion of clean public transportation in the City, if at all?
I address this problem directly in my platform as well. The MTAs relationship with the department of transportation, the city, the state and the federal government is an identifiable problem; it leaves the city in the problem zone of being unable to get cleaner transportation systems. We need to fight for modern, innovative technologies in the forms of monorails, trams, bicycles, all of which being able to operate off of renewable energy sources.
6) How would you upgrade local industrial port infrastructure in a way that is both sustainable and equitable, if at all?
I would look at Rotterdam, Tokyo, Singapore; all of which are port cities which have implemented sustainable technologies far ahead of New York. We need to implement similar values at lower prices. Creating these regulations with teeth that hold private sectors accountable so that we can create alternative revenue from city, state and taxes.
7A) How would you develop climate resiliency infrastructure on public lands to protect New York City’s most vulnerable communities, if at all?
I will assess the available research and data to identify the most vulnerable communities, and better understand how our infrastructure and different parts of the infrastructure (ie: energy creation and commercial waste centers) has impacted certain neighbourhoods. We put forward the renewable rikers program and introduce legislation and executive orders that can protect these specific communities. Ultimately, we need to act now and move quickly to implement proper aggressive rules and regulations, with aggressive timelines. We must also reshape how we dispose of our waste, be it private or public sanitation. We must create more innovative and sustainable ways to remove waste.
7B) How would you support the Renewable Rikers proposal, if at all?
I would absolutely support the Renewable Rikers proposal. How I would support it is by finding alternative and effective means of funding, as well as raising the awareness of what it is and what it means for New Yorkers, and our city; ultimately raising the support for it.
8A) How would you support the City in meeting its target of becoming zero waste by 2030, if at all?
Ultimately, becoming a zero waste city starts with our consumption. We need to assess what we are taking in to understand what we are putting out, it is a zero sum system. Putting legislation and provisions in place to ensure that we are not overusing single use plastics, creating more packaging free stores, potentially implementing packaging free policies in our big supermarkets. We also need to be building infrastructure which is cleaner and more sustainable to our environment. We need to find more innovative ways of harnessing renewable energy sources and implement them throughout our city (ie: solar powered streets/sidewalks).
8B) Commercial Waste Zones and Local Law 199 is an example of the sort of comprehensive and transformative climate justice policy that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission while also raising labor standards, and its implementation will likely happen under the next mayoral administration. How will you ensure that the ambitious goals of the policy are prioritized and accomplished in its implementation?
As per my platform, which promotes basic human rights and public health & wellness; these policies are highly aligned. These goals aim to ensure a healthier City as well as its residents, and is therefore a critical move to make. It is paramount to me that these laws gain the proper support and funding to hit the ground running. I believe that there are alternative revenue streams that we could utilize in order to accomplish these goals - reaching out to private corporations and big businesses, creating partnerships with big players such as Amazon, and getting them to put a percentage of income into these goals rather than taxes. Again, the better we are about our consumption and removal of waste, the better we can reallocate our resources to the bigger sustainability issues which are harder to tackle.
9A) How would you invest in the New York City workforce for a future of climate jobs, if at all?
I want to use innovative and entrepreneurial thinking to better understand how to tackle the problems which face all of the communities in New York City. Let’s start with our education system, reshaping both the scholastic and vocational training, so that we can create a larger workforce of people who can build, maintain and manage our city in more sustainable ways; all of which leading to New York being a true public health capital of the world. We need access to clean water, to greener spaces, better hygiene. We need to audit the city budget across the board to evaluate where our money is being spent, and based on this, reallocate the funds in the city budget to back our city workers.
9B) How would you implement measures to ensure the creation of high road jobs, if at all?
We must be building high road jobs, on the infrastructural and roadway level, towards our future. I will create better systems of flow that do not disrupt our neighbourhoods, and rather allow for more access points in and out, and around the five boroughs. I want to create space for cleaner, as well as more, means of transportation such as: trams, monorails, bicycles; which will ultimately create more jobs.
10) Is there an innovative idea, policy or otherwise, that you believe would allow NYC to be a leader in our quest for Climate Justice?
Yes. There are a multitude of other innovative, sustainable ideas that I have, that the rest of the world has been implementing. There are more efficient, and cleaner, greener ways of doing things - prevention is the best solution. We need to tackle the problem at the core, rather than finding ways to dispose of our waste, to remove the damage we have done. As New Yorkers, I want us to become the leaders of the sustainability movement. I am relieved that under our new national government, we are again a part of the Paris Agreement, but we have a duty in NYC to do our part towards those goals.
An interesting idea that I have, which addresses the sound pollution of NYC, as well as the congestion and traffic. Sirens, traffic jams, and congestion on our roads disturb our peace. We can solve this by integrating our transit lighting systems with emergency and amber alert software, to change our traffic lights and alert our drivers that emergency vehicles are coming - which will also help improve emergency response time.