In This Section

Climate Works for All:

Transforming Dirty Buildings into Cleaner, Greener Structures and Creating Thousands of Good Jobs

Read more about the coalition at nyclimateworks.org 

THE CRISIS

Climate change continues to have severe and long-term effects on New York City residents. Although all New Yorkers will be impacted, low-income communities of color will disproportionately shoulder the burdens created by this crisis. These communities sit at a nexus of physical, political, and economic forces that leave them most vulnerable to impacts of climate change as well as economic instability and job loss. 

THE MOVEMENT

After the 2014 People’s Climate March,  community groups, environmental justice organizations, labor unions and other allied advocates joined together to form the Climate Works For All coalition. Our first report, Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers, details ten proposals to make our city more resilient, create nearly 40,000 good jobs each year, and cut our annual greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 12 million metric tons of carbon equivalent. We are holding the Mayor and City Council accountable for meeting the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, achieving zero waste to landfills by 2030, and installing 100 megawatts of renewable energy on public buildings by 2025.

 

CAMPAIGNS

A Green Jobs Recovery for a Post-COVID19 Economy:  The Climate and Community Stimulus Platform

Today, we face an unprecedented jobs crisis due to the devastating effects of COVID-19. As New York begins to re-open the economy, the chief concern for many New Yorkers is whether  they will have jobs to go back to. With over 40 million filing for unemployment across the nation a higher rate than at any point since the Great Depression, New York City has the 4th highest job loss in the country. At the same time, the climate crisis has not abated, and while New York City has put into place bold climate goals to reach an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050, the focus has waned on this critical issue. 

With the dual jobs and climate crisis at hand, the coalition proposes that climate solutions can create immediate and direct opportunities for coming out of an economic collapse, but only if there is large-scale, coordinated citywide action rooted in equity. Climate Works for All is creating political and grassroots momentum around a green infrastructure and climate  jobs plan that addresses how our communities, especially frontline communities, can recover from an unprecedented economic crisis by building a resilient New York. The coalition has outlined their demands for a green jobs recovery on a  Climate and Community Stimulus Platform. In our recent report, An Equitable Recovery: creating 100,000 climate jobs for frontline communities of color, the coalition outlines 7 different infrastructure project areas where, if the city invests 16 billion dollars over 3 years, we can put 100,000 workers back to work in good, union, climate jobs and invest in New York’s Black and brown communities. 

Our campaign will:

  • Transform the public debate to uplift the message that NYC can come out of the economic crisis by addressing the climate crisis
  • Build political will within the city to adopt a comprehensive climate jobs plan based on our recommendations
  • Create a path from jobs plan to a concrete climate jobs pipeline that puts low-income black, brown and immigrant community members back to work in good jobs.

Dirty Buildings Campaign

After 5 years of organizing, the Climate Works for All coalition achieved a historic climate victory with the passage of the Dirty Buildings legislation in April 2019. This new bill, now Local Law 97, will require large buildings over 25,000 square feet to cut emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. With buildings responsible for 70% of New York City’s emissions, this world-first legislation will have the single most significant impact on reductions to the city’s climate pollution to date, and will be a critical path to mitigate the threat of climate change in the most vulnerable communities. It will also lead to the creation of over 20,000 direct jobs each year to implement building energy efficiency upgrades and improvements. With our labor partners, we are working to ensure that these jobs are accessible to low-income workers of color and women through targeted recruitment, training, and hiring.

Most recently, we celebrated the expansion of Local Law 97 via intro 1947 to include affordable housing buildings where state law protects tenants from rent increases from retrofits. 

For more information, contact Phoebe Flaherty at phoebe@alignny.org