cynthiafornewyork

Cynthia Nixon Has an Aggressive Climate Change Plan For New York State

Governor Cuomo is feeling the pressure.

CARLY CASSELLA
25 APR 2018
 

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon is running to become the next governor of New York, and on Friday, she unveiled an aggressive climate change plan for the state.

Since announcing her candidacy, Nixon has loudly criticized the current governor's inaction on climate change and his soft spot for pipelines.

 

"Eight years ago, I voted for Andrew Cuomo because I believed he was a real Democrat," her website reads.

"Our state could be a place where every single New Yorker has what we need to thrive, if only we could stop our governor from selling New York off to the highest bidder."

Nixon thinks she can do better. Her recently published "Agenda for a Clean Energy Economy and Climate Justice" lays out a bold plan to transition the state to 100 percent renewable energy by no later than 2050.

In comparison, Governor Cuomo has only committed to 50 percent renewables by 2030. And, as Nixon points out in her new plan, "Governor Cuomo only has a plan for the electricity sector when most of the emissions in New York come from buildings and transportation."

Nixon has also promised to reject all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and she has promised to make corporate polluters pay for the damage they are causing the state. 

"This would generate billions of dollars to invest in building renewable energy, protecting communities at the front lines of climate change, supporting workers transitioning into the new energy economy, and giving rebates to low and middle-income New Yorkers to save them money on their energy bills," reads the agenda.

 

Other important policies include:

  • Fighting the Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling
  • Fixing the subways and expanding mass transit
  • Divesting the state from fossil fuels
  • Allowing nuclear power plants to shut down without bailing them out
  • Upholding the Paris agreement

And while Nixon knows fulfilling this agenda won't be easy, she believes we don't have a choice.

"This is an issue where we can't afford to have rhetoric and not action," she wrote.

"We need to be able to look our children in the eyes and say we're fighting for them… The time for bold action is now."

On Friday, Nixon also announced that she would not be taking any contributions from the oil, gas and coal industry.

"Our state belongs to all New Yorkers, not a handful of fossil fuel executives or the elected leaders whose campaign coffers they fill," Nixon wrote.

Environmental organizations like 350 Action and 350.org immediately applauded Nixon's efforts.

"Our movement has pushed New York to a place of global leadership by banning fracking and divesting from fossil fuels," said May Boeve, the executive director of 350 Action.

 

"We applaud Cynthia Nixon's plan to build on these hard-fought movement victories by moving us closer to a fossil free world that works for all of us."

The co-founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, was equally excited by Nixon's candidacy.

"In the Trump era, when we need states leading, this is a gold-standard package of pledges," he said

"Nixon clearly understands the urgency of climate change and its connection to the Empire State's prosperity."

With favorability at an all-time low, and Nixon creeping up in the polls, Governor Cuomo is feeling the pressure.

On Monday, three days after Nixon revealed her climate change agenda, Cuomo suddenly proposed a ban on all plastic bags in the state. 

The announcement was a bit of a surprise given that last year, Cuomo squashed a measure that would have added a small fee to every plastic bag bought in the state.

The change of heart suggests that Nixon is pushing the current governor out of his political comfort zone and into the green energy future.

Even if Nixon is unsuccessful in her race, she may well succeed in getting the environmental action that she believes her state deserves.