In This Section

For Immediate Release:  Friday, June 28, 2024 

Media Contact:  Lisa Thomas,, (347) 415-6431

Theodore A. Moore, ALIGN Executive Director available for interview

ALIGN on NYC Budget: NYC Leadership Falls Short for Climate Investments in Schools

New York, NY – In response to Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams’ city budget handshake, Theodore A. Moore, ALIGN’s Executive Director, released the following statement:

“Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams’ city budget falls short in securing investments for climate justice in our schools. This summer we saw NYC public schools continue to endure sweltering heat waves and poor air quality while suffocating our city with polluting fossil fuels. In times of crisis, our schools are vital, serving as cooling centers for the city during a shortage just last week. But they must be resilient safe havens year-round, and need urgent investment to update their aging infrastructure.This budget fails to meet a moment that demands proactive climate safety for students, teachers, and school staff built by green, union jobs, not scarcity and inaction. We’ll keep fighting for Green, Healthy Schools and a sustainable New York for all,” said Theodore A. Moore, ALIGN Executive Director. 


Buildings in NYC contribute to nearly two-thirds of citywide Greenhouse Gas emissions. The single most effective way to significantly reduce these emissions is to decarbonize and retrofit our building stock; i.e. implement Local Law 97 of 2019. As we enter the first compliance period of LL97 this year, there is a clear need for additional technical support, and more importantly, additional funding streams to ensure that building owners are able to undertake retrofits. But private buildings are not the only ones that have a responsibility to reduce emissions, the City also needs to ensure that public buildings comply with LL97 mandates. 

NYC public schools’ aging infrastructure runs on fossil fuels and contributes to poor air quality, which not only impacts student and staff health but can also undermine learning by negatively affecting student attendance, comfort, and performance. Additionally, schools are vulnerable to ever-worsening climate disasters, felt first and worst by Black and brown students in Environmental Justice communities. While the City has already identified school buildings as a great place to start to meet NYC’s climate goals, Mayor Adams’ Leading the Charge initiative has to date only allocated funding to electrify 33 schools out of a promised 100 schools by 2030. But with 1300 school buildings in NYC, we need to work faster. ALIGN and our Climate Works for All coalition are advocating to electrify and upgrade 500 schools by 2030 and make NYC’s school district zero-emissions by 2040. Investing in Green, Healthy Schools will save the city millions on utilities; create green, union jobs and improve working conditions for school workers, and help meet the mandates of Local Law 97, where the City should lead the way.


ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) brings together labor, climate, and community organizations for a more just, sustainable New York. Working at the intersection of economic and climate justice, ALIGN builds coalitions with those most impacted and uplifts worker and community voices to fight for dignity in the workplace and a just path to a renewable energy economy for all. Read more about ALIGN’s 2024 Labor & Climate Agenda