Cuomo Should Take Climate Change as Seriously as the Weather

Cuomo Should Take Climate Change as Seriously as the Weather

For immediate release: September 26, 2018

Hawkins & Dunlea: Cuomo Should Take Climate Change as Seriously as the Weather

Responding to Andrew Cuomo's remarks that New Yorkers are fleeing upstate due to its climate, Howie Hawkins and Mark Dunlea - Green Party candidates for Governor and Comptroller - acknowledged that while the climate may motivate people, particularly retiring people, to move away, the governor is wrong to ignore the fact many people, particularly younger people, move away to find better jobs and a more affordable cost of living.

The Greens said that their plan for 100% clean energy by 2030 will create 100,000s of good jobs in construction and manufacturing and cut electric rates. “People will be moving to New York to take advantage of the job and business opportunities this emergency climate action plan will provide,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins has also called to restore state revenue sharing to local governments to its historical level of 8% (compared to 0.4% under Cuomo) to reduce local property taxes.

In his recent talk to the NYS Business Council, Cuomo failed to list climate as one of the issues he will work on if re-elected.

"For Andrew Cuomo to blame the climate without saying anything about the looming climate emergency is not surprising. He didn't finally acknowledge that global warming was caused by fossil fuel burning until a few years ago. He still doesn’t get it. His energy policies are flooding the state with fracked-gas instead of clean renewable energy. He even wants to power the capital buildings on Empire Plaza by restarting the Sheridan Hollow plant with fracked-gas and once again subject that low-income black community to pollution,” Hawkins said.

While Cuomo has announced a series of moderate goals related to climate, his administration has made very little progress. The state only produces 4% of its electricity from wind and solar, and continues to promote the expansion of natural gas. Methane in natural gas is 80 times more potent short term as a greenhouse gas than carbon emissions.

The Greens also noted the state is expected to rapidly warm up, with its climate becoming similar to what Atlanta presently experiences. The state estimates that the temperature may rise by 10 degrees (F) by 2080, which is way beyond the tipping point for catastrophic climate change. It is likely that climate refugees will pour into New York State.

“For five years I have called for Comptroller DiNapoli to divest the New York State pension plan from fossil fuels. The Comptroller has refused. His Chief Investment Officer, who argued against divestment, was recently rewarded with a $300,000 low-show position with a major fossil fuel company. It’s time to divest before the clean energy revolution makes the Exxons' fossil fuels worthless stranded assets and we lose the $6 billion the state pension fund now has invested in these doomed corporate dinosaurs,” Dunlea said.

“Governor Cuomo doesn’t understand that the biggest problem is not New York’s climate, but the crisis of climate change. The Greens do," said Dunlea.

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