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Ahead of Hochul's State of the State, what do NY climate activists want?

Jones Beach fishing docks — Wantagh, N.Y.
Sabrina Garone
/
WSHU
Jones Beach fishing docks — Wantagh, N.Y.

After a series of extreme weather events across New York in 2023, advocates are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to include the Climate, Jobs and Justice package in her executive budget.

Katherine Nadeau is with New York Renews, a statewide coalition pushing for the package. She said residents across the state are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

“The state was blanketed in toxic wildfire smoke several times this summer, leading to skyrocketing increases in hospitalizations for asthma and other chronic conditions," she said. "We saw record breaking heat this summer, and in September we saw New York City hit with a month’s worth of rain in three hours."

The package is a collection of bills that would help the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by the year 2050.

Some of those include the Justice Energy Transition Act, which will turn fossil fuel-powered facilities into renewable energy plants. Also, the Climate Change Superfund Act that would make the state’s biggest polluters foot the bill for infrastructure improvements.

“While New Yorkers are busy dealing with the incredibly expensive, immediate, life changing and at times fatal impacts of the climate crisis, massive corporations are pulling in record profits from fossil fuels," Nadeau said. "They’re profiting from New Yorkers suffering.” 

Advocates are also pushing for an additional $1 billion for the Climate Action Fund to support what they call 30 “shovel-ready” projects related to energy grids, coastal resiliency, public transit improvements and more.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.