Senator Gounardes Pushes New Climate and Community Investment Law

On Sunday, March 20, New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes joined the Bay Ridge Environmental Group (BREG) and community members in South Brooklyn for a rally in support of Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA).

State Senator Gounardes is a co-sponsor of the CCIA, would create more than 150,000 new jobs in the green energy sector and make polluters pay for the carbon they emit. Revenue from this carbon tax would be used to provide a green electricity bill rebate to the lowest-earning 60% of New Yorkers, saving millions of households thousands of dollars each year. .

The CCIA includes funds to help protect south Brooklyn from storms that are getting stronger due to climate change. Superstorm Sandy destroyed hundreds of homes in South Brooklyn in 2012, and future storms are likely to have even more devastating effects as the climate crisis causes them to increase in strength, speed and scale. With the projected rate of sea level rise, parts of southern Brooklyn, from the Marine Park to Coney Island, are projected to be uninhabitable within the next century.

“Everyone in South Brooklyn remembers where we were when Hurricane Sandy hit. It devastated our community, costing so many of us our homes, our livelihoods and, for some , life. I co-founded Bay Ridge Cares in Sandy’s wake to help our neighbors access crucial support as they wait for their power to come back or their homes to be rebuilt,” said Sen. Andrew Gounardes. “But our response to the growing threat of the climate crisis cannot be limited to individual actions. We know the climate crisis is coming and as the father of a young child, it terrifies me to think of the disaster he could inherit if we don’t act now on bold and decisive climate legislation. The CCIA is smart climate policy. We can’t afford to wait any longer.”

The Bay Ridge Environmental Group said, “The goal of the Bay Ridge Environmental Group is to make our global issues local issues. We must act aggressively to protect South Brooklyn from the effects of climate change, but also to invest in a renewed waterfront and clean, cheap energy. We are proud to join Senator Gounardes in highlighting the importance and opportunities offered to South Brooklyn in the CCIA.

Jill E. Washington