“As a young adult pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies in New York City, I care about climate change because I am aware of its devastating and disproportionately concentrated impacts. To allow these impacts to persist, the lion’s share of which are being experienced by poor countries and frontline communities who are relatively less responsible for the climate crisis, is a crime against humanity.
I would like to thank my district representative, Senator Brad Hoylman, for co-sponsoring and voting yes on the ‘Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,’ which effectively mandates that the state of New York move away from fossil fuels and cut its emissions by 85%. I am frustrated that some members of the Assembly and State Senate have appointed stakeholders and representatives of the fossil fuel industry to the Climate Action Council, which oversees the act’s implementation. This is not only a conflict of interest but a threat to the efficacy of the Council and I urge the legislature to appoint more genuine climate champions to entrust a swift and successful implementation of the Act.
This law will be paramount to achieving New York’s mission of climate action; nevertheless, there is still room for improvement and initiative. With that, a good next step would be to implement a tax on the state’s major emitters and to reinvest the revenue into the state’s larger goal of fossil fuel independence. In the meantime, I will continue to commend my fellow climate activists for their passion and hard work and encourage other young people to get involved by reaching out to their elected officials about the climate crisis.”
— Cosima Balletti, FCLC ’20