Climate Act: Cutting to the Chase

Comments on the NYS Draft Scoping Plan by Melissa Everett, PHD
Executive Director, Sustainable Hudson Valley

I am Executive Director of Sustainable Hudson Valley, a regional organization that speeds up climate progress through projects in the clean energy marketplace and  through  a creative experiment in regional planning to meet the Climate Act’s mandate.  We applaud the hard, focused work of the Council.  I’ll say more in writing, but for now a few thoughts on the scope and strategies to implement the recommendations:

  1. Make grid modernization the top priority among priorities.  This will maximize flexibility to site larger renewables where communities are most receptive and it makes environmental sense.
  2. Realize that electric transportation isn’t just a land thing – solar waterborne transportation is an important emerging technology. 
  3. Fund and creatively support climate education by trusted sources, so that people are not spooked that the state is going to make you spend $30,000 on home upgrades or confiscate your furnace.
  4. Invest in regional science-based consensus building processes to meet climate goals in ways that fit with local values, and require climate planning in the annual strategic plans of the Regional Economic Development Councils, which guide state funding. 
  5. Make sure investments in frontline communities don’t just help low income people to afford and install clean technology, but also to own clean economy assets.

Persist and keep the faith.